Loras students have social justice impact

Mike Valder

Loras College juniors AnneMarie Elsinger, Celeste Espinoza, Louisa Pavlik, and Stephanie Phillips have earned the Valder Social Justice Award. The recognition will allow each of them to work for a social justice organization for eight to 10 weeks.

Elsinger will work with Little Friends for Peace in Washington, D.C. The organization works to empower children and adults to solve problems nonviolently, build relationships through compassion and empathy, and create a culture of peace.

Both Espinoza and Phillips will work with Posada in Pueblo, Colorado. Posada provides housing and supportive services that empower homeless individuals and families in Pueblo County to become self-supporting members of the community.

Pavlik will spend the summer at Frinklepod Organic Farm in Arundale, Maine. The farm opened in 2012 as a way to provide the community with healthy food, preserve agricultural land, and help inspire a new generation of farmers.

Mike Valder (’62) created the Valder Social Justice Award in 1988 in memory of his late brother Robert Valder (’60) who was a civil rights activist. What started as an award in name and in a financial contribution to a student’s tuition, transformed to an eight-to-10 week summer experience working at a social justice organization.