August Town, Jamaica (Photo courtesy Alexandra Prince)

August Town, Jamaica (Photo courtesy Alexandra Prince)

For the second year in a row, the Scholastic Awards Alumni Council presented Alums with monetary grants to help them pursue creative endeavors. This year, six Alums were selected to receive $1,000 grants to help them work on projects ranging from 3D printing to DNA testing to staging a performance that combines music, song, and sign language.

In part two of our series on the 2017 Alumni Microgrant recipients, we’re focusing on Alums Alexandra Prince and Yolanda Wisher.

August Town, Jamaica (Photo courtesy Alexandra Prince)

August Town, Jamaica (Photo courtesy Alexandra Prince)

Alexandra Prince used her microgrant to travel to Jamaica and do for her PhD dissertation on the “historical co-construction of fringe religiosity and madness in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.” Her goal is to “understand the ways in which members of fringe religious groups have historically been impugned, imprisoned, institutionalized, and otherwise marginalized.” With the microgrant, Alexandra was able to conduct field research in support of her dissertation and forge relationships with the community she is studying.

Yolanda Wisher’s microgrant was used to purchase DNA kits for herself and family members. Yolanda will use the results of the tests to create new poetry and text for her manuscript-in-progress. The manuscript explores Yolanda’s ancestry as well as her “many fears…about science, ethics, and the future.”

The Scholastic Awards Alumni Council is committed to supporting Alums in all stages of their careers. Through opportunities like the Alumni Microgrant Program and the Alumni Writer’s Residency, Alums are receiving the encouragement and support they need to continue innovating and elevating our nation’s art and literary communities.

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