About the Scholarship
With the generous support of ALKU Founder and CEO, Mark Eldridge, MMP launched the $20,000 ALKU Scholarship award in 2015. This educational award helps rising high school seniors further their academic pursuits and attend a four-year college or university. Since its launch, we've seen three gifted students, Ronique, Daniel, and Marta, embark on their college careers in STEM and Criminal Justice programs. This year, we will officially welcome our 4th ALKU Scholarship winner, Julian Viviescas, at our annual Cheers to Mentoring.
Julian is a senior at Lowell High School and met his mentor of two years, Ms. Lander, a history teacher, during his sophomore year.
"Ms. Lander helped me all the way through senior year since sophomore year when I met her. She has been my go-to person when it comes to school... She is a person that has pushed me to do a lot and someone who seeks to help people."
- Julian on his mentor, Jessica
In the Spring of his Sophomore year, Julian, working in Ms. Lander's History course, helped lead his class's action civics class work, as they collaborated with local agencies to tackle gun violence in their community. Working with the local police and more than 30 organizations, businesses and local houses of faith, Julian and his classmates ran a successful gun-buyback event, where the police collected 39 unwanted guns. Julian became invested in advocating for active civics education for his peers across the Commonwealth. He sits on a a national civics youth leadership board working to advise on civic education, has spoken at numerous events about the importance of civics education, has advocated for the recent civic education bill at the State House, and written a related Op-ed for WBUR's Cognoscenti.
"...young people also need to learn how to use our voices to advocate for our communities."
This past summer, Julian was selected to be a Generation Citizen Community Change Fellow, a civic leadership internship to learn how to make a positive impact in his community. As part of the program, he interned for eight weeks at the Lowell-based non-profit, TeenBlock, at the Lowell Community Health Center. In addition to this work, Julian was one of 9 youth facilitators at the Summit Civic Institute, organized by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and a number of civic organizations with the aim to teach and prepare more than 260 education leaders in the state on teaching civic action in eight grade classrooms.
Julian is applying to schools in Massachusetts this fall and would like to study journalism and photography.
Cheers to Mentoring
Join us in recognizing Julian's triumphs at Cheers to Mentoring, an annual event recognizing the trailblazers of the mentoring field in Massachusetts. Congratulations, Julian!