Baylor Students to Travel to Washington, D.C., For 'Young People For' Class of 2007 Fellowship Program

Jan. 11, 2007

by Angela Best, student newswriter, (254) 710-1961

Three Baylor students recently were selected to attend the Young People For's (YP4) Class of 2007 Fellowship Program in Washington, D.C., from Thursday, Jan. 11, through Monday, Jan. 15.

Fellows are selected for the all-expenses-paid trip and summit following a rigorous nomination, application and selection process. Chosen from more than 1,000 nominations and 400 applications, the 2007 YP4 class members "are talented leaders who will advance progressive values in their communities and lead the future movement," according to the program's web site.

The program's mission statement says, "YP4 protects and promotes our nation's core values by identifying, engaging and empowering young leaders and activists and equipping them to work toward positive social change in their communities and across the nation."

Selected from Baylor University were freshman Sara Sommers, sophomore Christine Lenihan and junior Nekpen Osuan.

Sommers, the daughter of Jack and Mary Sommers from Broken Arrow, Okla., is an international studies and economics major. As a freshman, Sommers is a member of the social justice club, Honors College and Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.

Sommers learned about YP4 through a third-year YP4 fellow, and after the summit she plans to "achieve a greater awareness of issues and diversity of ideas on [Baylor's] campus."

Lenihan, a Spanish and anthropology major from Plano, Texas, is a member of Zeta Tau Alpha and Student Senate. The daughter of Sue and John Lenihan, she plans to pursue a career in international politics.

Lenihan also learned of YP4 from a friend, and hopes to get new ideas and resources for improving Baylor while at the summit.

Osuan, a university scholar major from Alief, Texas, and the daughter of Rose Osuan, found out about YP4 through a friend. At Baylor she is in her third year as a senator in the Baylor Student Government Senate, serves as a community leader in Memorial Residence Hall, is in the Baylor Leadership Academy Fellows Program, the African Student Association and the NAACP.

In addition, Osuan is a member of Alpha Epsilon Delta National Pre-medical Honor Society and Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society and Phi Alpha Delta International Pre-law fraternity.

Following the summit, "I hope to network with national organizations that promote the equal opportunity/ equal access values I identify with," Osuan said. "I also hope to learn how to better strategize in preparation for a one-year internship with the People For the American Way to combat the pervasive presence of apathy in my age group when it comes to speaking on public policy."

Osuan plans to attend law school and hopes to work in public service dealing with the economics of healthcare policy.

YP4 was begun in 2004 by the People for the American Way Foundation (PFAW Foundation) to "invest in the next generation of leaders and build a long-term national network for young progressives."

For more information about YP4, visit www.youngpeoplefor.org.

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