By Chloe Frushell ’22
My sister, Sophie Frushell’17 BC ‘21 knew she would attend The Winchendon School. A family of Winchendon School “lifers” she may have followed in our older brothers’ and sisters’ footsteps, but she forged her own path. After graduating from Boston College, she was named a Fulbright Scholar, the first Winchendon School alumnus/a the School knows of to achieve the prestigious award.
Returning to TWS in 2020, Sophie was one of the founding members of WACA (Winchendon Alumni of Color Association), where I am now the Massachusetts campus representative. I traveled to sit down with Sophie in the Dominican Republic at the Dominican Republic Dream Project.
Currently, Dream Project is educating more than 8,000 children, youth, and young adults through 17 innovative programs. DREAM offers literacy, early childhood education, youth leadership, the Bachata Academy, and community programs to ensure that all children and youth within their partner communities never lack access to necessary resources.
Using her Fulbright Scholarship at the Dream Project in the Dominican Republic, Sophie has an interest in exploring identity as an essential component of youth development.
As a student at The Winchendon School, she didn’t see herself as either a changemaker or entrepreneur. She credits her interest in education and making a difference to the travel programs (through ColLAB) at The Winchendon School. Her advice to current students? Use this time to discover yourself.
While her research evolved over time, the core question she came to study remains the same: What are the best methods for engaging youth in the Dominican Republic to think critically about their own identities, especially their racial and ethnic identities. How can these research findings regarding the inclusion of identity in youth development efforts support greater equality and peace throughout the country?
Living in the DR was an adjustment for Sophie. From the language (she needed to learn the slang!) to just getting around, Sophie relied on Winchendon’s core values (Collaborative | Courageous | Adaptable | Resourceful | Responsible | Resilient | Empathetic | Ethical).
Recently accepted to Harvard University for her graduate work, Sophie has plans for the future.
Overall, the most rewarding part of being in the DR on the Fulbright Scholarship is seeing the idea she developed as a senior at Boston College come to life in country.