Elaine Negron Named 2020 William E. Simon, Jr. Award Winner
Squash Haven alumna and Gettysburg College graduate Elaine Negron was named SEA’s 2020 William E. Simon, Jr. Service & Leadership Award winner. Established in 2016 in honor of SEA’s founding board chair Bill Simon, this award provides one graduating college student each year with the opportunity to travel and volunteer at an international affiliate of SEA, highlighting the importance of leadership and service and deepening ties between SEA’s U.S.-based and international programs. “It’s fantastic to see another amazing student receive this award!” says Bill Simon. “Elaine is a terrific leader and example for her peers and will be a great ambassador for the SEA network on her trip to Israel.”
Elaine plans to visit SquashBond in Israel once it is safe to travel. “I am excited about traveling to SquashBond to get exposed to a different culture and see a completely different world from my own. I am just very passionate about traveling and learning about different cultures and seeing new traditions,” says Elaine. “The trip has been postponed, however my excitement is still there! I am beyond grateful for the opportunity!”
The Squash Haven staff describes Elaine as “a natural born leader with a deep sense of commitment to empowering those around her.” She has accomplished a great deal since joining the New Haven program 11 years ago. She spent a summer teaching debate classes and advising students as a Resident Teaching Fellow at The Hotchkiss School and has worked at Teach for America’s Mississippi Delta Summer Institute and Sportsometry, another New Haven organization.
A first-generation college student, Elaine earned a B.A. in Spanish and Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies this spring. During her time at Gettysburg, she served as the President of the Latin American Student Association and worked in the Office of Multicultural Engagement and College Union Information Desk. Through Elaine’s involvement with the Center for Public Service at Gettysburg, she led an immersion project to Nicaragua and traveled to the US-Mexico border to learn about how the immigration system impacts the lives of folks on both sides of the border. “We are so proud of all that Elaine has accomplished in the areas of leadership and service to date, and are grateful that she will have the opportunity to broaden her experience at SquashBond through the Simon Award,” says Squash Haven Executive Director Julie Greenwood.
Elaine recently gained admission to a Masters of Social Work program at Southern Connecticut State, where she will begin working toward her goal of becoming a social worker. She is the fourth Simon award recipient and will be the first to travel to SquashBond in Israel.