Ian Needham (current student) Named a Newman Civic Fellow

Wayfinding Academy is proud to share that Ian Needham has been honored as 2017 Newman Civic Fellow

Campus Compact, a Boston-based non-profit organization working to advance the public purposes of higher education, has announced the 273 students who will make up the organization’s 2017 cohort of Newman Civic Fellows, including our own student, Ian Needham.

As a 2017 Newman Civic Fellow, Ian will be a part of the first cohort to benefit from a completely re-designed fellowship. The Newman Civic Fellowship, named for Campus Compact co-founder Frank Newman, is a one-year experience emphasizing personal, professional, and civic growth. Through the fellowship, Campus Compact provides a variety of learning and networking opportunities, including a national conference of Newman Civic Fellows in partnership with the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate. The fellowship also provides fellows with access to exclusive scholarship and post-graduate opportunities.

In support of his application, Wayfinding Academy's President Michelle Jones shared the following with the selection committee:

"Ian’s vision for what he wants to do with his life is “To end classism by bringing back a hand-wrought America.” In the past few months at Wayfinding Academy, he has already taken strides towards turning this vision into reality through volunteer work he has done, projects for his courses, and through his internship in the live events department of a local lighting and production company. In addition, Ian is currently part of a team of several students who are forming the Debt Free Student Society to attempt to tackle the national student debt crisis and he has mapped out a plan to start his own food cart business to provide job training and jobs for fellow students. He definitely does not lack for intrinsic motivation and enjoys working on challenging problems in a collaborative manner." 

Ian shared that he first found his interest in socio-economic struggles by living with a friend in a low-income home. This adventure taught him a great deal about how much money can affect families. Ian also found a strong desire to change the way the current system is handling higher education. He believes that many potential students are pushed away by the huge price tag of education and that this just creates a cycle that keeps impoverished people impoverished. These beliefs were a major factor in his decision to join the Wayfinding Academy community - a movement on a mission to turn this flawed cycle on its head.

The 2017 Newman Civic Fellows are an inspiring group of community-committed students who are already making an impact in communities where they live, learn, and serve. The Newman Civic Fellowship is supported by the KPMG Foundation and Newman’s Own Foundation.

Congratulations Ian! We are so proud of you and are excited for your journey as a Newman Civic Fellow.