Martha’s Vineyard Vision Fellowship will fund ten projects

The Martha’s Vineyard Vision Fellowship appointed 10 new Vision Fellows for 2014. They will join 34 past and current fellows, local mentors, and several sponsoring organizations.

“This year’s applicants impressed the selection committee with passion, commitment and vision in many of the Fellowship’s areas of interest, all of which emphasize Island sustainability,” according to a press release. “The Fellowship works to empower capable future leaders and current practitioners by strengthening their effectiveness within the Vineyard’s non-profit organizations and progressive businesses.”

The Martha’s Vineyard Vision Fellowship awards grants of varying amounts to individuals pursuing Island-based careers and projects in 12 areas that include affordable housing, conservation and biodiversity, sustainable agriculture and waste water.

Grants range from $2,000 to $25,000 for individuals pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees tied to specific Island-based projects. The fellowship was established in 2006 by Jerome and Nancy Kohlberg, seasonal Edgartown residents and owners of the Vineyard Gazette, through their Philip Evans Scholarship Foundation.

The ten fellows are: Jaime Billings, Kevin Brennan, Samantha Chaves, Barbara Conroy, Robert Moore, Megan Mendenhall, Jacqueline Menton, Luiza Alencar Mouzinho, Sophie Ulyatt, Ken Wentworth, and Liz Witham.

Jaime Billings will pursue a master’s in social work and work with CONNECT to End Violence to provide counseling services and training. She will be mentored by Jennifer Neary, Program Director of CONNECT to End Violence.

Kevin Brennan will design, implement, and manage a 2.3-acre orchard and perennial farming system at the Island Grown Initiative’s Thimble Farm. He will be mentored by Jamie O’Gorman, Program Direct of Island Grown Gleaning, a program of the Island Grown Initiative.

Samantha Chaves will pursue a bachelor’s degree in marine biology and intern for the Great Pond Foundation (GPF). She will be mentored by Emma Green-Beach of GPF.

Barbara Conroy will act as a Town Energy Fellow, focusing on sustainable energy planning. She will be mentored by Paul Pimental of The Vineyard Electric Project.

Louis Hall will pursue a master’s degree in environmental education and will work with other Fellows across the Island. He will be mentored by Robert Moore, Director of the Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School.

Megan Mendenhall will pursue a bachelor’s degree in education and child study and intern to help special needs students learn an adapted Island Grown School’s curriculum. She will be mentored by Donna Lowell-Bettencourt, Principal of the West Tisbury School.

Jacqueline Menton will pursue a bachelor’s degree in psychology and intern with a focus on dementia and memory care. She will be mentored by Mary Holmes, Memory Care Coordinator for Windemere Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

Luiza Alencar Mouzinho will pursue a bachelor’s degree in pastoral ministry and counseling, and will intern with a focus on mental health and creating a more welcoming environment for the Island’s Brazilian population. She will be mentored by Juliette Fay, Executive Director of Martha’s Vineyard Community Services (MVCS).

Sophie Ulyatt will pursue a bachelor’s degree in nursing and intern in the Skilled Nursing Facility and Pediatrics Practice. She will be mentored by Angela Rhoderick, Volunteer Direction and Mentorship Program Advisor of the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital.

Kent Wentworth and Liz Witham will create documentary video episodes that will focus on the sustainability of Martha’s Vineyard ecology, food, culture, and community. They will be mentored by Kate Davis, Emmy award-winning documentary filmmaker for HBO.

For more information on the Fellowship’s mission and the 2014 Fellows, visit www.vineyardvision.org.