2016 Wilburn Fellows Named

Published Thursday, November 17, 2016
by Nick Depuy

The Wilburn Fellowship celebrated its fifth year at New Canaan High School during the 2015-16 school calendar, culminating with a successful Awards Assembly on May 16, 2016.

The gathering was attended by the named finalists, most applicants, a number of teachers and department heads, members of the Guidance Department, as well as Fellowship Committee members, and a greater than usual group of students interested in the Fellowship and what it has accomplished in the name of inclusivity, remembering the legacy of the late Reverend Gary Wilburn who passed in 2010 from ALS.

During the 2015-16 school year competition, the Committee received 13 applications, representing a diverse range of interesting proposals aimed at bringing people of difference together.

And as the “job” of the Committee continues to be more and more difficult given the quality of the projects submitted, for the third year running, the Committee recognized two finalists’ projects by naming the creators of both this year’s Wilburn Fellows. 

New Canaan High School junior Kavya Dagli was named a Wilburn Fellow for her video project, Bridging Faiths, that provides, through interviews with religious leaders, insights into the likenesses and differences of five world religions. Her ultimate hope is to expand upon her project by further refining and incorporating it into the global history curriculum at the school, as well as offering it to interfaith organizations through their newsletters and other methods of internet communication.

The Committee also chose sophomore Eva Pace’s and sophomore Caroline Challe’s project, Ted Ed Club at New Canaan High School, which focused on bringing a diverse group of students from different schools to New Canaan to discuss various aspects of diversity affecting those students and those around them, again with the hope this process can be expanded to a widening group of students across other schools in other communities, promoting the mission of the Fellowship to bring people of difference together in ways where those differences are not only understood and accepted, but honored and celebrated.

Once again the students of New Canaan High School have demonstrated their commitment to diversity through the many who apply, through those who are selected as finalists, through the quality of this year’s named Wilburn Fellows, and all that these efforts touch and inspire.

To view this year’s Fellows’ work, as well as others chosen in past years, the projects can be seen by clicking on them on the opening page banner on the Fellowship website.

The Fellowship Committee is greatly pleased with the progress of and the enthusiasm generated by The Wilburn Fellowship at New Canaan High School, and it looks forward to the submission of wonderful projects that bring people of difference together in the 2016-17 school year.