Sociology Major Wins Newman Civic Fellowship

Photo by Sydney Lau '23

Alanna Jackson ’23 started passionately caring about others as a child when their mother was navigating the justice system and overcoming the post-divorce challenges of single parenthood.

“Her resilience and kindness inspire me every day; I want to make her proud and use my lived experience as a catalyst for change,” Jackson says.

Colorado College is a member of the Campus Compact, which awards the fellowship to students who are committed to improving their community. There is no monetary assistance; the fellows are supported in their personal, professional, and civic development through learning opportunities, such as a national conference of Newman Civic Fellows in Boston that Jackson plans to attend.

“Ultimately, the fellowship is meant to help people harness their skills and connect with others to become stronger leaders of collective social change through civic participation and community engagement,” Jackson says.

The fellowship will run from September 2022 through May 2023, and Jackson hopes that it will help boost confidence in their leadership strategies and open doors to a network of “passionate change-makers.”

The social injustice so prevalent in their generation, which could carry on to future generations, can be overwhelming at times, Jackson says. But learning about tangible steps to imagine creative solutions, networking with others, and working in a community helps alleviate the anxiety.

Jackson loves taking research-based sociology classes, which leads to meeting community partners and contributing to projects that will make a lasting impact on others.

The list of Jackson’s extra-curricular activities is a long and impressive one: working with the Colorado Youth Election Advisory Coalition to collect information about high school voters’ needs; mentoring and tutoring at-risk boys; coaching new CC students in the First Year Program; serving as vice president for outreach in CC’s Student Government Association, and interviewing prospective students for the Office of Admission.

After graduation, Jackson hopes to participate in a fellowship or research program overseas before attending law school to specialize in human rights law. They hope to focus on queer/trans rights, reproductive rights, and immigrant rights.

“Community-based work, especially that oriented toward social justice and human rights, is important because not only does it seek to find solutions to violent and marginalizing policies, practices, and issues, but it also seeks to bring in the voices, stories, and resistance work of afflicted peoples,” Jackson says.

They learned about the fellowship on March 8, and says the news felt “incredible and validating.”

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