Roomrs Welcomes Scholarship Winner: Lucy Harding
After recognizing the vital connection between our company’s mission to build a strong, collaborative community, and our corporate desire to give back, the Roomrs’ Scholarship Program was born. Since its creation, once a semester, we award one lucky recipient with defrayed cost of housing for the whole semester!
The overarching goal behind the Scholarship Program is to highlight a member of the community consciously making selfless efforts to helancp those around them. To determine each semester’s recipient, applicants must first submit an essay or video expressing their uniqueness, their current contributions to their community, and their visions to impact the Roomrs’ community as a resident.
For the Fall 2018 Program, we received a collection of compelling, passion-driven pieces written by an array of forward-thinking, community-minded individuals filled with diverse backgrounds and unique personal experiences. To say choosing only one winner was difficult is an drastic understatement.
Ultimately, we offered the Fall Semester 2018 Scholarship to Lucy Harding, a Food Studies major at The New School who comes to New York City via Scotland.
Lucy inspired us with her essay depicting her experiences a couple summers back as a chef at a refugee camp in Calais, France.
To give a quick background, beginning around 2015, rising numbers of displaced people traveled across the Mediterranean Sea seeking shelter in the UK and parts of France. In 2015 alone, over one million migrants, originating from areas within Africa, the greater Middle East, and other parts of Asia arrived in the European Union.
Refugee Community Kitchen, a volunteer-run and donations-based organization, has been serving meals and providing amenities to displaced refugees seeking shelter in areas of the UK and France since late 2015.
In her piece, Lucy explained how she learned about Refugee Community Kitchen in the summer of 2016, and immediately felt inclined to volunteer.
After moving to Calais in northern France, Lucy immersed herself in the community as the only chef alongside ten other RCK volunteers, cooking over a thousand hot meals a day. She expressed that, at the time, authorities were not sympathetic to the migrants, making Refugee Community Kitchen the only supplier of hot meals for those displaced.
Even through grueling conditions, bitter weather, and massive language barriers, Lucy managed to learn traditional recipes to comfort those struggling, and bridge gaps between the array of cultures within the camp.
She says that since this experience, she is committed to using food to empower communities, bring people together, and build connections through shared experiences. As previously mentioned, she is also further pursuing her passion for food and social justice as a current Food Studies major at The New School.
As the recipient of Roomrs’ Fall Scholarship, Lucy will also be working with us to create tailored events to engage our community using her previous experiences and love of cooking. In a way, she will be a pioneer in this, creating the first of many events where Roomrs gives back to the communities it serves.
As Or Goldschmidt states, “Roomrs is about community. Lucy represents the values we instill in the communities we build. Her story inspired us, and we are excited to be a part of her educational journey.”
Congratulations, Lucy! Roomrs can’t wait to work further with you this semester!
For those of you looking to learn more about the Scholarship Program (for the Spring 2019 Semester and beyond), check out more information here.