Students win $10,000 for sustainability project

By Hannah Johnson

When Kathryn Wasserman Davis turned 100, she donated $1 million for the Davis Projects for Peace, an effort to empower emerging leaders and fund their ideas. Now in its fourth year, Projects for Peace funds grassroots projects designed by underclassmen students around the country. This year Cecilia Martinez-Miranda ’13 and Michael Manansala ’12 recieved $10,000 to use for a program they designed to enhance sustainability in Tondo, the Philippines.Projects for Peace funding is open to the more than 90 colleges who are part of the Davis United World Colleges Scholars Program. Students must apply to their home schools first and then two from each school are chosen to be finalists for Projects for Peace. The funding is given to 100 projects, including Martinez-Miranda and Manansala’s. They get $10,000 for their project, which will be completed over the summer.

Both Martinez-Miranda and Manansala are originally from the Phillipines. They will return there this summer to put their money towards creating a sustainable garden and environment for the Container school, the local school of Tondo. They plan to build a rainwater collection system, a compost bin and an herb and vegetable garden.

They are looking to raise awareness about sustainable living for lower income areas, Martinez-Miranda says.

Martinez-Miranda and Manasala’s proposal was not the only one that Macalester sent. Maggie Yates ’10 was the other Macalester project proposal made the finals, although it was not ultimately chosen for funding through the Davis Projects for Peace. She wanted to create an “income-generating” project through the sale of wine from the poorer Jewish community of Abayudaya in Uganda to Western Jewish communities.

Martinez-Miranda is looking forward to her summer in the Philippines. She sees herself eventually living in the Philippines, and wants to give back to her home country as much as she can.

After they have finished building their sustainable garden and compost bin, Martinez-Miranda and Manansala plan to create a curriculum to educate the students and faculty of the school about sustainability and how to maintain the systems they will have implemented. They will also travel to other private and international schools in the Philippines to raise awareness about sustainable living.

“I like working in the community,” Martinez-Miranda said. “It’s like we’re all connected.