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Cynthia Lam – Davis Projects for Peace

Name: Cynthia Lam

Class Year: 2015

Hometown: Westfield, NJ

Major(s): English, Business Administration

Minors or Concentrations: Creative Writing, Philosophy

Opportunity and Year: Davis Projects for Peace, 2015

Project Summary: I am launching Breakthrough Leadership Academy – a free, three-week intensive English summer program for disadvantaged youth in Sham Shui Po, which is the poorest district in Hong Kong. By using education to empower those most in need, I hope to instill a lifelong love of learning and open new opportunities for these middle and high school students.

How did W&L prepare you for this opportunity? Looking back now, this project is the culmination of four years of learning and discovery. It combines my passion for advocacy, my knowledge of English, my organizational spirit from Business, and my leadership experience in the ultimate real-world application. Every part of my W&L adventure has played an integral role in making this possible, from the phenomenal academics to the valuable relationships I have cultivated during my time here. I could not have done this without the continued support of the community – especially the Center for International Education – and the confidence I have gained to succeed in the classroom and beyond.

Why did you apply for this opportunity? Hong Kong has always held a special place in my heart, because both my parents were born there. Despite being a progressive and wealthy city, it is home to the one of the world’s largest wealth disparities. For many, education is the great equalizer. There is a pressing need for high-equality English instruction, which is why I plan to use my skills to help narrow the gap. I want to do everything in my power to enable future generations to succeed, regardless of income or status. This project is the first step.

Post-graduation Plans: Attending University of Pennsylvania Law School to pursue a JD and Masters in Social Policy.

How will this opportunity help you achieve your goals? Advocacy comes in many forms. Through this project, I will be working directly with youth to understand their needs within the larger education system in Hong Kong and the world. I will be advocating on their behalf and doing what I can to ensure a better future. This is just one type of activism, which I will continue to pursue throughout the rest of my professional and personal life.

Extracurricular Involvement:

  • Ring Tum Phi (Managing Editor)
  • Nabors Service League (Special Events Chair)
  • Honor Advocate
  • Writing Center Tutor
  • Tour Guide,
  • Pi Beta Phi
  • Glasgow Endowment Committee

Off-campus Experience:

  • Legal Services of New Jersey, NJ (Internship, Summer 2014)
  • Oxford University, England (Study Abroad, 2013-2014)
  • Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington, DC (Johnson Opportunity Grant, Summer 2013)
  • Merck Employees Federal Credit Union, NJ (Internship, Summer 2012)

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