Ali Scholars Alumni
Ali Scholars Alumni in the Spotlight
Lecia Brown, 2007-2009
Lecia Brown was an Ali Scholar from 2007 until 2009. Muhammad Ali Scholars are selected for their work ethic, intrinsic motivation, and desire to positively impact the world. Not only does Lecia have all of these characteristics, but she demonstrates them throughout her daily life. During her college career she was a member of the Cardinal volleyball team and held the NCAA record for most blocks as a junior. Currently, she is playing professional volleyball in Poland, while also pursuing a Master's Degree in Health Sciences online. During her years as a student-athlete, Lecia started a non-profit organization, called LAMB Inc., which acts as the umbrella organization for her various philanthropic endeavors. In 2008, she started the SuperNova program in her homeland Jamaica where the motto is, "Shoot for the shy, aim for the stars".
The SuperNova Program, offers students at Moores Primary and Junior High School an opportunity to excel beyond the expected curriculum and truly go into their passions by exploring what is going on in the world around them. This program combines training, research and service in the areas of the applicant's interests whether it be science, history, law physical education, etc. A special emphasis is placed on understanding and addressing how their interests affect their community, country and the world. Their is also an athletic component to her organization which focuses on using volleyball to build leadership and confidence in young people. In addition to learning proper volleyball techniques and skills, participants would also receive training in good sportsmanship.
Within the LAMB organization, there is also a medical component that is still a work in progress. The program is called, Loving all Mothers and Babies Doula and Birthing Center. Their vision is to provide proper treatment for mothers and their newborn pre and post pregnancy in a natural and caring environment. Being an Ali Scholar has impacted Lecia's life tremendously and has helped shape many of her interest. The skills she learned at the Muhammad Ali Institute gave her courage, determination, and confidence to see her dreams into fruition.
"I became engrossed in the subject of agriculture and small farmers in Africa during the Muhammad Ali Scholars trip to Ghana in 2010"
Bristol Mann, 2009-11
This summer, I had the amazing opportunity of working as a research intern at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD, right outside of Washington , D.C. No, I am not an aspiring astronaut or robotics engineer. I am majoring in geography and I am interested in social justice issues and bridging the gap between the scientific community and development projects in developing countries. This summer, I worked with Dr. Molly Brown, a NASA research scientist who collaborates with the Famine Early Warning System Network, or FEWS NET. FEWS NET uses scientific data and on the ground knowledge and experience to predict when, where and how severe food insecurity and famines around the world will occur. NASA's earth observation satellites can provide climate and vegetation information for FEWS NET, who will then use that information to warn the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) of areas of the world that need humanitarian relief. Over the summer, our project was to create new food price indices that could show spikes in food prices for commodities that are consumed mostly by the poorest populations in Africa, Central America, and the Middle East. Sudden spikes and drops in food prices can be detrimental to communities that rely on intra and inter-regional trade.
Because of my work this summer, I have begun research on a project for my undergraduate senior thesis. I am studying how to use earth observation satellites to provide financial stability for small farmers in Ehtiopia that are at risk of severe drought. In December, I will be going to the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia to collect field data and interview farmers.