sydney

SYDNEY 
LEWIS

HOMETOWN:
Decatur, GA                   
HIGH SCHOOL:
Druid Hills High School     
MAJOR:

Sociology and Psychology

THESIS:

The Small, Autonomous Neighborhood:Evaluating school reform through a lens of learning theory and developmental psychology.

FAVORITE CLASS:
“Poverty in the U.S.” with Claire Potter—my First-Year Initiative class;reading-and-writing intensive, totally discussion based, and only had about fifteen students. Claire met with each of us several times during the semester to help us develop our research projects, which culminated in a 20-page paper. My project, which became my focus throughout my time at Wesleyan and has led to my thesis project ,explored the link between the academic achievement gap and early developmental delays in children who grow up in poverty.
CAMPUS
ACTIVITIES:
I’ve served as a Jewish Renaissance Fellow, and performed in winter and spring dance concerts, as well as student-run dance productions. I’ve conducted research for the History department and led the group Wesleyan Students for Just Education. I’ve also co-taught the student forum “Education Policy in the U.S.,” and served as a house manager for the Bayit.
OUTSIDE
WESLEYAN:

As an Americorps volunteer, I offer tutoring and teacher support in kindergarten and first grade classrooms at Macdonough School in the north end of Middletown. I babysit for the children of several professors and other Wesleyan families, and I was recently trained as a post-partum doula (a non-medical suppor tperson for new parents). I also founded, coordinated and taught the Kindergarten Kickstart program at Macdonough School during the summer of 2012 with Professor of Psychology Anna Shusterman. Wesleyan’s Kickstart program is able to bring disadvantaged children up to par with their more affluent peers before the beginning of kindergarten. During the summer of 2013, Kickstart is expanding to a second site at Wesleyan’s Green Street Arts Center.

FAVORITE WESLEYAN EXPERIENCE:
Creating Kindergarten Kickstart with other Wesleyan students, Professor of Psychology Anna Shusterman, and community organizers. Anna became a mentor and friend, and the program has been hugely successful. We recently received the $30,000 Liberty Bank Early Literacy grant, and we plan to continue expansion over the next several years!     
AFTER
WESLEYAN:

First, I’m going to take a break to travel as much as possible. I plan to then complete my teaching certification (possibly through a program like the Boston Teaching Residency) and become an elementary school teacher. I might eventually decide to go to law school or a graduate program in education policy.

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