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United Nations Academic Impact and MCN are proud to partner on the Millennium Fellowship. In the three months the application was open in 2020, 15,159 young leaders applied to join the Class of 2020 on 1,458 campuses across 135 nations.  80 campuses worldwide (just 6%) were selected to host the 1,000+ Millennium Fellows.  The Class of 2020 is bold, innovative, and inclusive. 



University of Texas at San Antonio | Texas, United States | Advancing SDG 1 & UNAI 5


" I am excited to participate in the Millennium Fellowship because of the support and motivation behind each fellow to turn their project ideas into a reality. Since I discovered this fellowship, I have found many young leaders that want to make the world better, and I am honored to be held at this distinction as well. "

Millennium Fellowship Project: Letters of Adventure

San Antonio is one of the largest cities in the United States, but it is also one of the most economically segregated cities in the country. Children living in economically disadvantaged households experience the inequity within their community and their schools. Without much guidance or aspiration toward a better future, these children will continue in the same cycle of poverty. Letters of Adventure is a pen-pal mentorship program that will unite primary school-aged students from an economically disadvantaged school district in San Antonio with university students at The University of Texas at San Antonio. The project is designed to give economically disadvantaged students, who are also geographically segregated, a glimpse into a new way of life and a pathway to that life. Each component of the program is tailored to allow for the achievement of the best outcomes for the elementary-school aged students, including the pair matching process, and collaborative effort with the school district to ensure the conversation curriculum is designed with the needs and wants of the students. As a result of all the aspects of this project, it will drive the young student participants to seek higher education and break the cycle of poverty within their families.

With the support of the UTSA Honors College and the guidance from Dr. Andrew Chapman, the faculty mentor, I will use the following goals to measure the project's impact during these four months:
- We will recruit 50 college students to serve as pen pal mentors.
-We will pair each elementary-aged participant with a pen pal mentor based on a preliminary interest survey.
-We will give two surveys to the elementary-aged participants: a preliminary interest survey gauging their initial interests in higher education, academics, and potential careers, and a survey after the final letter exchange to gauge their interests in the same topics as before.
-We will host three events for the college student mentors to gather and write their pen pal letters corresponding to their buddy's previous letter and the conversation curriculum.
-We will host an event for the college students and young students to connect in person at the end of the semester to discuss.
I will know the project is successful when the program gains the UTSA Center for Civic Engagement as a program sponsor at the end of the semester to allow for the sustainability of the project after the Millennium Fellowship concludes.

About the Millennium Fellow

Eliesha Perez is a second-year Honors student at The University of Texas at San Antonio studying Global Affairs. At the university, she is involved with the Filipino Student Association and a volunteer organization called V.O.I.C.E.S. Additionally, Eliesha spent the Summer of 2020 serving as an AmeriCorps CitySquare member at Heart House in Dallas, Texas. In her free time, Eliesha likes to exercise, play tennis, and cook. As a child of Filipino immigrants, she hopes to combine her passions of fighting poverty and working with children in her future career endeavors.

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