A Fellowship to Pursue a Noble Purpose

Dec 22, 2011

The Intercollegiate Studies Institute, Inc. (ISI) established the William E. Simon Fellowship for Noble Purpose to support graduating college seniors who are committed to engaging directly in the civic life of their community, such as contributing to the development of new jobs and opportunities for others. The Simon Fellowship program provides unrestricted grant awards in the amounts of $40,000, $20,000 and $10,000 to those graduating college seniors who have demonstrated passion, dedication, a high capacity for self-direction, and originality in pursuit of a goal that will strengthen civil society.

Past Simon Fellowship winner, Evan Hewitt, a graduate of the Templeton Honors College at Eastern University, proposed to found the first public library of Rwanda, the Gahini Library.  English language books are an urgent need for the entire nation of Rwanda after the national secondary language officially changed from French to English in 2008. Teachers were required to teach in a language they didn’t know and are struggling as much as young students. The Gahini Library is helping to serve a community of over 2,000 students in a building donated by the Anglican Gahini diocese.

“[Rwandans] need books and we have books,” says Hewitt. With the library, his aim is “to take all the books that people are just throwing away or ignoring in the US and put them in a place where they’re going to be precious resources.” Read more.

Are you a graduating senior with a noble idea like Ewan? The next deadline for the William E. Simon Fellowship for Noble Purpose is January 17, 2012.