Anne Armstrong was a chemistry major from Connecticut with a 3.89 cumulative GPA, who won the Shapiro Prize for Academic Excellence, graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, and received the Sigma Xi Book Award from the Chemistry Department at graduation.
Anne’s thesis advisor was “extremely impressed with [her] intelligence, perseverance, warmth and altruism." She has "a unique combination of intelligence, insight into other people's needs, and a powerful desire to help those who are less fortunate."
Her advisor felt that, through her Fellowship, she will "have a significant impact on people's lives" and "help make the world a better place."
Anne's project was to become Program Director for Camp Holiday Trails(CHT), a summer camp for children with special medical problems (such as HIV, cancer, diabetes, and asthma) in Charlottesville, Va. Anne had worked for CHT over several summers, and it had truly become her life's passion.
In addition to organizing and overseeing the current camp programs, Anne
implemented new year-round programming to provide further support for the children during the rest of the year, and also focused on helping the families of the campers. The financial constraints on CHT were such that they had been unable to expand their offerings. With ReachOut '56 funding Anne as the Program Director, CHT was able to utilize the funds thus released to better serve the children and their families.
In addition to her stellar academic record, Anne was devoted to her cause. Anne says, “I was constantly challenged and inspired… I came to realize that there is a power in the human spirit that finds no greater example than a child confronting sickness…”I am heartened by [ReachOut ‘56’s] commitment to supporting young graduates who simply wish to give of themselves to something they are passionate about….”
Class of 2008
The Executive Director of CHT cited Anne’s "follow-through on every project and activity" and her "remarkable ability" to address the issues she faced "with maturity and compassion," and concluded that "The support of the ReachOut '56 Fellowship is significant and meaningful in helping our Camp become a more sustainable, forward-thinking organization."
As for her life after the Fellowship, Anne told us: “I returned to Princeton to engage in research related to Alzheimer's disease with Prof. Michael Hecht (a continuation of my thesis). That work has resulted in two publications in peer-reviewed journals. I'm now a first year medical student at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City where I continue to remain engaged in the community. Following on my work as a ReachOut fellow at CHT, I am serving as co-director of a science and medicine enrichment camp for East Harlem middle school students.”
Here are Anne’s additional reflections, “The opportunity, as a ReachOut fellow, to dedicate a full year to a cause that I cared about so deeply was truly a gift. Though I had worked at CHT for many summers, my role as Program Director presented new challenges. I came to recognize my strengths and accept my weaknesses, developed my own leadership style, and learned the collaboration and selflessness required to operate a small non-profit organization. I will carry what I learned as a ReachOut fellow with me as I move forward in my future as a physician.
“I have greatly appreciated the continued support of the ReachOut board and admire their dedication to constantly improve the fellowship program. The introduction of an international fellowship has clearly sparked an interest in service within the graduating class. I was fortunate to review some of the recent proposals, and I was incredibly impressed by the passion and creativity of both the domestic and international fellowships."