Among the 364 members of Bryn Mawr’s entering Class of 2015 is at least one “all-American.” Jordan Schwartz of Altanta, Ga., was honored this summer by Parade magazine and the Points of Light Institute’s GenerationOn initiative as a member of the All-America Service Team, a group of 15 high-school students “who are changing their communities through service.”
Schwartz was recognized for work as the founder and leader of the nonprofit The Children’s Bilingual Theater, which has “staged six shows and 15 storytelling/literacy events, performed by a student cast in a mix of Spanish and English,” says Parade.
She began the project as a fifth-grader, in 2003, and the company premiered its first show in 2004.
After raising $3,000 in donations and soliciting schools to host the shows, Schwartz led 17 children who staged a bilingual play at four schools. She now occupies multiple roles in the organization: she produces shows, raises funds, recruits volunteers, coordinates shows, and leads literacy outreach events to bring students together with community volunteers.
Children’s Bilingual Theater, Schwartz says,” helps young actors to learn about public speaking, gain confidence and work with a diverse group.”
Schwartz’s advocacy and volunteer efforts have now brought more than 200 volunteers to perform to audiences now numbering more than 5,000 and many, many school audiences. The goal, she says, is to “encourage her community to bridge language and cultural gaps through the theater arts.”
The All-America Service Team awards were presented in early August at the Newseum in Washington D.C. Among the speakers were Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Points of Light CEO Michelle Nunn, and Haverford College alumnus Juan Williams of Fox News. Schwartz also met former U.S. Senator Harris Wofford, an advocate of national service and volunteer work who was Bryn Mawr’s fifth president.
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