Each year the Parents Independent School Network—PIN, awards students at member schools modest financial grants to support their community service efforts. The students must submit grant applications that PIN volunteers evaluate.
This year Groton students have been awarded two grants. Ade Osinubi ’14 and Yoonyoung (KT) Choi ’14 received a grant for their efforts supporting women’s health, particularly concerning obstetric fistula prevention, in Ethiopia. Michael Gates ’15 earned a special commendation for his project supporting the Town of Groton’s Community Dinner program.
Ade and KT each came to the issue of fistula prevention independently, but when they recognized each other’s interest they combined efforts to create the Iris Fistula Project: Giving Women their Lives Back. Both Ade and KT hope to pursue careers in medicine, Ade as an ob/gyn and KT as a surgeon, so they will be able to work directly on issues of maternal health. The two girls have developed a website, produced a documentary to educate their peers about fistula prevention, and have raised more than $5,000 to support the training of Ethopian women as Safe Motherhood Ambassadors. Connecting with Alison Shigo’s Healing Hands of Joy organization, the girls have leveraged their communities both at Groton and beyond the Circle to help Healing Hands of Joy fulfill its mission.
Michael Gates was introduced to Groton Community Dinners this past winter when his squash coaches John Capen P’17 and Cort Pomeroy piled the team in a van and drove them to the Congregational Church in Groton to serve dinner to Groton residents. The experience was transformative for Michael, as he sat with Groton residents, swapped stories, and served a healthy meal. It was compelling to see firsthand that hunger and food insecurity could be so close to the Circle gates—and that he could be part of the solution in this community.
Michael is well versed in service; for the past few summers, he and his father have traveled to West Virginia to help residents repair and refurbish their 60s-era mobile homes. In some cases, when the deterioration was too severe, his group would build new homes.
Michael hopes to use his grant money to supplement and enhance the Community Dinner supplies, utensils, plates, and serving platters. He also hopes to work with the leaders of the Community Dinners to consider ways to expand their outreach.
Congratulations to these young Grotonians, who are taking cui servire to heart.