Margaret Brown ’17, an urban studies and human rights double major, has been awarded a 2016 Harry S. Truman Scholarship, which includes a $30,000 award for graduate school. Brown, of Wilmington, Massachusetts, is one of only 54 recipients nationwide and is the second Trinity student in three years to be selected for this honor.
Brown works 40 hours a week as a social services counselor at Our Piece of the Pie, a Hartford nonprofit for at-risk urban youth. “A lot of my kids have high ACE scores, which is a numerical indicator of negative childhood experiences such as abuse, neglect, and trauma. … I work with these kids to overcome these experiences and become successful young adults in the Greater Hartford community,” she said.
She also participates in New Beginnings, a group with students and with women recently released from York Correctional Institution that is run by Judy Dworin ’70, professor of theater and dance, emerita, who nominated Brown for the scholarship. Utilizing the concepts of expressive arts activities, the group explores the challenges of re-entry and supports the women after their time in prison.
“Everyone goes through things; everyone has a story,” Brown said. “But there are a lot of people, like the kids I work with and the women at York Correctional, whose stories go untold. Nobody cares and nobody pays attention, and that’s not right. We all have dreams, and we all deserve to pursue those dreams.”
As for the inspiration to much of her work, Brown credits Dworin, who last fall taught a class about incarceration issues in the United States and founded and directs her own nonprofit, the Judy Dworin Performance Project, an organization with a long history of giving voice to unheard populations through the arts. “There are no words to describe what Judy has done for me and the impact she has had on my life,” Brown said. “She believed in me like no one ever has before.”
Brown aspires to attend law school after graduation and also wants to pursue a dual degree in a master’s of social work program. She plans to study public interest and juvenile law and hopes to become a child advocacy lawyer.