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Two Receive Compton Mentor Fellowships

Jessica Culver Clark, a Berea College graduate and Patricia Feeney, a Berea senior, have each been awarded a $35,000 Compton Mentor Fellowship to spend a year working for the public good. Clark and Feeney are two of only five college graduates nationwide to receive a 2006 Mentor Fellowship which will support their projects.

Jessica Culver Clark and Tricia Feeney receive Compton Mentor Fellowships.

Clark, a Child Development major who graduated in December 2004, was awarded the fellowship for her project titled, “Opening Another Door: Deterring the Cycle of Multiple Unplanned Pregnancy Through Meaningful Work and Education.” Beginning next year, Clark will be working with the Florence Crittenden Home and Family Care Center in Lexington to develop a job training program for teen mothers. Clark will be working with mentor Jean Terry, of the Parent Resource Center, to develop a job training program to provide teen mothers with occupational aspirations. She will be teaching the women how to design and produce crafts to sell to the public. Clark says she hopes her work will help create a model curriculum for others to use.

While at Berea, Clark was employed as a weaver in Berea College Student Crafts. This experience sparked her interest in handmade crafts. Because of her dedication at work, Clark was awarded her own weaving loom. Also while at Berea, Clark completed an internship at the Florence Crittenden Home teaching wellness to teen mothers. Originally from Ashland, Kentucky, Clark now lives in Berea.

Feeney is a Biology major from Birmingham, Alabama who will graduate in May. She was awarded a fellowship for her project titled, “Resources and Solidarity: Coalition Building for Water Security in Appalachian Mining Communities.” Feeney will be based in Boone, North Carolina, working closely with the Appalachian Coalition for Just and Sustainable Communities to help community members in protecting their water supply. Feeney will be offering her help to the coalition and hopes to learn from the people working on the problem of water pollution that is the result of coal mining, specifically, mountain top removal.

For the past two years, Feeney has been involved in the nationwide Student Energy Justice Movement. At Berea, she has been involved in educational and other efforts to make Berea’s campus more sustainable. This year she is a student director with the Sustainability and Environmental Studies (SENS) program, and resides in the SENS demonstration house at Berea’s Ecovillage. With the student organization HEAL (Helping the Earth and Learning), Feeney is working to promote greater reliance on renewable sources of energy as the college becomes a more environmentally sustainable campus.

Founded in 1973 by Randolph and Dorothy Compton, the Compton Foundation supports selected college graduates who partner with a mentor to apply their academic learning to improve policies and programs related to peace, population, sustainable development, and/or the environment.

This is the first time students from Berea College have received two of the five Compton Mentor Fellowships in one year. Berea was among several U.S. colleges and universities invited by the Compton Foundation to nominate students for the Fellowships. The foundation chose these institutions based on their innovative programs and geographic and demographic diversity. The recipients of the other three fellowships where graduates from Vassar College and Oberlin College. Other institutions eligible to nominate students are Clark University, Morehouse College, and Princeton University.

For more than half a century, the Randolph and Dorothy Danforth Compton family has been committed to individuals and organizations that combine research and activism to effect positive change in a troubled world. The Compton Foundation provides funding to projects that address issues of environmental degradation, rapid population growth, or the fragility of peace and human rights. The Mentor Fellowship Program, launched in 2000, is the newest of the Compton Foundation’s fellowship programs. For more information visit the Compton Foundation’s website at

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