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Bronxville Union Free School District

Bronxville Graduate Inspires Students to Make a Difference

Bronxville High School students in Bill Meyer’s humanities seminar class and Chris Doyle’s economics classes were treated to a special visit from Amelia Hopkins Phillips, a Bronxville High School Class of 2013 graduate, who spoke about her humanitarian endeavors and nonprofit organization, the Somo Project.

"Amelia provides such a powerful example of someone who has committed her life, work and studies to helping others,” said Meyer, who invited Amelia to share her story with students on Dec. 19. “She has committed herself to tackling some of the most challenging problems in the world. She is able to really connect to our students and is an inspiring model of what engaged citizenship really means."

Phillips, a recent graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, where her studies concentrated on the developing world and global poverty, founded the Somo Project in Nairobi, Kenya in 2014. Its mission is to identify, train, fund and mentor people looking to drive social change by building enterprises in their own low-income urban communities. Through the Somo Project, Phillips provides training and tools that people in the slums of Nairobi need to break the cycle of poverty and can help bring long-term stability to urban slum areas.

She first began her research and study on the slums as a Bronxville High School student as part of an independent study with Meyer. During her visit, Phillips discussed how her work in high school inspired her to further pursue her passion in college. She also talked about her challenges in securing funding for her organization and shared her future goals with the students.

"I hope our high school students got a deeper sense of what real service means,” Meyer said. “I hope they also found inspiration for their future studies and work in the world."

For more information about Phillips’ work and the Somo Project, visit www.thesomoproject.org.