2013 Wilburn Fellowship Finalists

Published Friday, May 10, 2013
by Nick Depuy

In its second year at New Canaan High School, the Wilburn Fellowship received 15 applications for consideration for the 2013 Wilburn Fellowship Award, a 100% increase in the number of applicants from the Fellowship’s inaugural year!

Although all applications had great merit, so much so the Committee named four as Semi Finalists, three were chosen as the Finalists on the basis that these proposed projects best embodied and promoted the Mission of the Fellowship. The three Finalists each received a $1,000 stipend and were asked to complete their respective projects by May 31, after which the Committee will have the very, very difficult chore, no doubt, of choosing the 2013 Wilburn Fellow, honoring the legacy of Reverend Gary Wilburn, who believed deeply in the beautiful mosaic and value of our human differences and the need to celebrate them.

The Finalists include one team of three students who are engaged in a hands on analysis with youth groups in Israel and Palestine trying to recognize their commonality and celebrate their differences in hopes for peace in the region despite leadership, religious, economic and military strife.

Another team of three students are investigating the meaning and beauty of the world’s different musical traditions, all unique, but part of a beautiful “concert” that brings world communities together.

The third student is doing in depth research into historical patterns in the wider Middle East that demonstrate that the people of the Middle East of varying cultures, religions and economic circumstances, those in power and those not, found peaceful ways, to not only understand, but benefit from their differences, such that their societies’ progressed…all in hopes that those historical lessons might have positive application to the conflict and turmoil that exists today in this and other parts of the world.

One other applicant team chosen as a semifinalist was also given a smaller stipend on agreeing to complete their project, and they along with all the applicants, will be recognized for their efforts at the Awards ceremony set for June 10.

The underclassmen who applied but were not chosen are encouraged to apply next school year for the 2014 Awards.