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Seevak human rights and social justice fellowships

“On some positions, cowardice asks the question, 'Is it expedient?' And then expedience comes along and asks the question, 'Is it politic?' Vanity asks the question, 'Is it popular?' Conscience asks the question, 'Is it right?' There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because conscience tells him it is right.”

—Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Remaining Awake through a Great Revolution,”

Sermon delivered Sunday, March 31, 1968


“Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”

—Robert F. Kennedy, Speaking on the Day of Affirmation,

University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa, June 6, 1966

Origin and Mission


The Seevak Human Rights and Social Justice Summer Fellowship program, begun in 2008,  recognizes that sustaining democracy and fighting injustice and intolerance rests on a foundation of historical knowledge, critical thinking, ethical choices and personal engagement. The Summer Fellowship provides an opportunity for a select group of juniors and seniors who have completed the Facing History course at Boston Latin School to work for eight weeks over the summer at a human rights or social justice non-governmental, not-for-profit organization. The fellowship summer is a period of experiential learning in which students engage their historical knowledge in context and contribute personally to the work of some of the world's most prominent human rights and social justice organizations.

The Facing History curriculum at Boston Latin School examines some of the most troubling aspects of twentieth-century world history, including the study of identity, the practice of 'othering,' discrimination, prejudice, and marginalization, and the escalation from those stages to war, racism, ethnic cleansing, and genocide. It poses essential questions about what independently thinking individuals can do to engage citizenry in efforts to break historic cycles of mass violence and systemic violations of human rights.

The Seevak Summer Fellowship emerged thanks to the advocacy and vision of a number of Boston Latin Facing History alumni/ae, led by Benjamin Naimark-Rowse '99.  These alumni/ae, working with Ms. Judi Freeman, Boston Latin School’s Seevak Chair in History (2000-2023), felt strongly that opportunities to get experience working with social justice and/or human rights NGOs and like organizations are essential to pursuing future careers in the field. Because it is generally difficult for many students to work without wages during the summer months, it was seen as essential to provide stipends to students eager to take up this type of work and to create a support network and in-depth collegial experience for them.

Fellowship cohorts from past years, along with their placements, are featured at the bottom of this page.   


Fellowship Program

Fellows are selected based on demonstrated serious interest in human rights or social justice, their work in Facing History, application essays and an interview process. In addition, Fellows must have successfully completed the Facing History course at Boston Latin School prior to the start of their fellowship so that any fellow who does not successfully complete the Facing History course with a grade of C- or higher risks being removed from the fellowship program.

Once offered a Seevak Fellowship, the Seevak Chair and the Fellowship coordinator assist Fellows in interviewing at a number of potential fellowship sites and ultimately identifying the host organization and mentor(s) that best match their personal interests and goals.  Host organizations and mentors are carefully selected to ensure that they will encourage Fellows to make substantive and unique contributions over the course of the fellowship summer. To achieve this goal, in the months after the Fellowship matching takes place and preceding the start of the Fellowship, mentors and Fellows jointly develop a work plan that identifies tangible projects the Fellow will undertake.


Mentors engage Fellows in much more than administrative work; Fellows might track war crimes and acts of genocide with Physicians for Human Rights, participate in operational and strategic planning for responses to climate change with Oxfam America, research and advocate for changes to juvenile justice practices with Community Change, study harm reduction strategies with Partners in Health, provide research and logistical support for medical field teams fighting HIV/AIDS with the Clinton Foundation, or build coalitions and develop policy to increase volunteerism in the fight against poverty with Be the Change Inc. The Fellowship program provides a stipend for Fellows to pursue their goals during their fellowship summer.

In addition to the individual Fellows' work, the entire class of Fellows meets as a group on a weekly basis over the course of their eight-week Fellowship. These weekly sessions will provide Fellows with an opportunity to engage leading practitioners and academics in an intimate setting on salient human rights and social justice issues, visit important human rights institutions, attend academic debates and presentations and/or participate in other activities. Fellows are encouraged to suggest session topics and otherwise participate in the planning and design of these sessions.

In most years, one of the weekly sessions will be replaced by a three-day trip to New York City, an integral feature of the Fellowship program.  Fellows visit with NGOs and philanthropic organizations and individuals doing a wide variety of work related to the themes of the fellowship.  


Over the years, Fellows have met with countless individuals and organizations, including the leadership of Atlantic Philanthropies and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, staff at the United Nations and the National September 11 Museum, pioneering human rights/social justice filmmakers at Avaaz, JustVision, and Witness, staffers at Physicians for Human Rights, the International Center for Transitional Justice, and the Guttmacher Institute.  


Upon the completion of their fellowship, Fellows are required to produce a reflective essay on their summer experience. These essays detail the activities the Fellow undertook during their Fellowship and how the Fellowship program affected their perspective on the struggle for democratic institutions, human rights and tolerance. During the subsequent academic year, Fellows are invited to share their Fellowship experiences with the greater Boston Latin School community. Through these discussions the Fellowship program hopes to provide the Fellows with an opportunity to speak publicly about their Fellowship experience, to raise awareness of the Fellows' issue areas and to encourage the greater Boston Latin School community to think independently about and to become involved in the struggle for democratic institutions, human rights, and tolerance.

Under the supervision of the Seevak Chair in History, Judi Freeman, the Seevak Fellowship program has been coordinated by Ben Naimark-Rowse '99 (2008), Ben Naimark-Rowse '99 with Rhea Kroutil-McKendry '08 (2009), Ben Naimark-Rowse '99 (2010), Ben Naimark-Rowse '99 with Yeshi Gaskin (2011), Ben Naimark-Rowse '99 with Billy Corbett (2012), Ben Naimark-Rowse '99 and Michael Manning '01 (2013), Ben Naimark-Rowse '99 and Daniel Gavin (2014-2016), Daniel Gavin (2017-2021), and Judi Freeman (2022-2023).


For further information, please contact Paula Bowles, Seevak Chair in History at Boston Latin School (2023-).

Getting involved as an alumni

Any Boston, New York or Washington D.C.-area alumni interested in helping with the interviewing of prospective Seevak Human Rights and Social Justice fellows, suggesting partner organizations to host future Fellows or otherwise assist in the management and development of the Program are encouraged to contact us to get involved. We welcome your ideas and your interest.

Applying for the Seevak Fellowship



All juniors and seniors are eligible to apply for the Seevak Human Rights and Social Justice Summer Fellowship. Students must have successfully completed the Facing History course at Boston Latin School prior to the start of their Fellowship. This fellowship is only open to current Boston Latin School students. Please note that the Seevak Fellowship is a full-time, eight-week program. A stipend is provided so that all students, especially those who might need a paid position during the summer, are eligible

Applications and details specific to each year will be distributed via Google classroom.   Eligible students will be given a link to the Google classroom, typically in December of the school year preceding the fellowship summer, and will receive further information there.

Scroll down to see images of the previous classes of Seevak fellows, beginning with the 2008 cohort.

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Ben Naimark-Rowse '99 (left)

Daniel Gavin (center)

Judi Freeman (right)

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Seevak Fellows summer 2008

Amy Walsh '08



Andrew Lawrence '08

Public Policy Institute


Finora Franck '09

Oxfam America


Gemma Falivene '09

Physicians for Human Rights


Morgan Banks '08

Partners in Health


Rhea Kroutil-McKendry '08

Community Change Inc.


Roisin Foley '08

United for a Fair Economy

Seevak Fellows summer 2009
Alena Wolflink '09_edited.jpg

Alena Wolflink '09

Physicians for Human Rights

Ava Buchanan '09_edited.jpg

Ava Buchanan '09

Oxfam America

Courteney Smith '09_edited.jpg

Courtney Smith '09

Be the Change

Seevak Fellows summer 2010
Hannah Mogul-Adlin '09 with Bill Clinton.jpg

Hannah Mogul-Adlin '09

Clinton Foundation 

(with Bill Clinton)

Madeline Griffin '10.jpg

Madeline Griffin '10

Oxfam America

Patricia Cahill '10.jpg

Patricia Cahill '10

Amnesty International

Shin Yi Zhou '09 with Ellie Seevak.jpg

Shu Yi Zhou '09

Partners in Health

(with Elinor Seevak)

Ayako Shimizu '10.jpg

Ayako Shimizu '10

Partners in Health

Leanna Ehrlich '10.jpg

Leanna Ehrlich '10

Be The Change

Nick Carter '10.jpg

Nick Carter' 10

Jobs with Justice

Rachel Sinsheimer '10.jpg

Rachel Sinsheimer '11

Oxfam America

Victoria Luu.JPG

Victoria Luu '10

Public Interest Network

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Will Poff-Webster'10

Service Employees Intl Union

Seevak Fellows summer 2011
Andy Vo '11.jpg

Andy Vo 11


Brian Zuluaga.jpg

Bryan Zuluaga Duran '11

Service Employees Intl Union

Maya Nojechowicz.jpg

Maya Nojechowicz '11

Physicians for Human Rights

Mike Raleigh '11.jpg

Michael Raleigh '11


Sandy Liang '11 .jpg

Sandy Liang '11

Public Interest Network

Elza Lambergs.jpg

Elza Lambergs '11

Oxfam America

Iskra Batista Poblete.jpg

Iskra Batista Poblete '11

Community Change Inc.

Reed McConnell.jpg

Reed McConnell '11

Community Change Inc.

Sam Wright '11.jpg

Sam Wright '11

Be the Change

Tiffany Fonseca '11.jpg

Tiffany Fonseca '11

Oxfam America

Seevak Fellows summer 2012
Alexia Spinney.jpg

Alexia Spinney '12

Cradles to Crayons

Amber Woods better.jpg

Amber Woods '12

Community Change Inc.

Bridgette Nee better.jpg

Bridgette Nee '12

Oxfam America

Carmen DeCristofaro Better.jpg

Carmen DeCristofaro '12

Women's Lunch Place

Jasmine Taylor.jpg

Jasmine Taylor '12

City Life/Vida Urbana

Jennifer Hart .jpg

Jen Hart '13


Jillian Baker.jpg

Jillian Baker '12


Lydia Burns.jpg

Lydia Burns '12

Be the Change

Seevak Fellows summer 2013
Althea Berg '14.png

Althea Berg '14

Cradles to Crayons

Beth Minahan '13.png

Beth Minahan '13

Women's Lunch Place

Brianna Nobles '1.png

Brianna Nobles '13

Community Change Inc.

Kailah Riggins '13.png

Kailah Riggins '13

Haymarket People's Fund

Kenneth Cruz '14.png

Kenneth Cruz '14

Oxfam America

Rasheeda Cutts '13.png

Rasheeda Cutts '13


Seevak Fellows summer 2014
Alex Zuluaga Duran '14.png

Alexandra Zuluaga Duran '14

City Life/Vida Urbana

Arielle Goldhaber '14.png

Arielle Goldhaber '14


Claire Komyati '14.png

Claire Komyati '14

Physicians for Human Rights

Dan Wilson '14.png

Daniel Wilson '14

Cradles to Crayons

Hannah Monius '14.png

Hannah Monius '14

Public Interest Network

Isabel Alexander '14.png

Isabel Alexander '14

Boston Children's Hospital

Marcella Caruso '14.png

Marcella Caruso '14


Michaela Harrington '14.png

Michaela Harrington '14

Women's Lunch Place

Nora Cameron '15.png

Nora Cameron '15

Haymarket People's Fund

Sukhai Rawlins '14.png

Sukhai Rawlins '14

Community Change Inc.

Seevak Fellows summer 2015
Gloribel Rivas '15.png

Gloribel Rivas '15

City Life/Vida Urbana

Debbie Jacques '15.png

Debbie Jaques '15


Helen Skerrett '15.png

Helen Skerrett '15 

Women's Lunch Place

Lakeisha Arias de los Santos '15.png

Lakeisha Arias de los Santos '15

Women's Lunch Place

Rebecca Paul '16.png

Rebecca Paul '16

Haymarket People's Fund

Shane Quinn '15.png

Shane Quinn '15


Sofia Carvalho '16 .png

Sofia Carvalho '16

Physicians for Human Rights

Seevak Fellows summer 2016
Brendan Maguire '16.png

Brendan Maguire '16

Institute for Policy Studies

Jameelah Julian '16.png

Jameelah Julien '16

Physicians for Human Rights

Lulu Schmieta '17.png

Lulu Schmieta '17

Women's Lunch Place

Mahlet Shiferaw '16.png

Mahlet Shiferaw '17

Service Employees Intl Union

Maya Greally '17.png

Maya Greally '17

City Life/Vida Urbana

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Stella Harris '17

Jobs with Justice

Seevak Fellows summer 2017
Cindy Pham '18.jpg

Cindy Pham '18

Beyond Conflict

Isabelle Doerre-Torres '18.jpg

Isabelle Doerre-Torres '18

Jobs with Justice

Jaileen Baptista '17.jpg

Jaileen Baptista '17

City Life/Vida Urbana

Janna Ramadan.jpeg

Janna Ramadan '18

Physicians for Human Rights

Portia Caruso.jpg

Portia Caruso '18


Sofia Meadows Muriel ;18.jpg

Sofia Meadows-Muriel '18

Mass Housing

Sydni Britton '18.jpg

Sydni Britton '18

Women's Lunch Place

Tiffany Wu '17.jpg

Tiffany Wu '17

Women's Lunch Place

Seevak Fellows summer 2018
Amy Tan .jpg

Amy Tan '18

Peace First

Dasha Belobokova.jpg

Dasha Belobokova '19

Jobs with Justice

Emily Ringrose.jpg

Emily Ringrose '19

Women's Lunch Place

Jenna Goldblatt.jpg

Jenna Goldblatt '19

Peace First

Karen Barden.jpg

Karen Barden '19

Women's Lunch Place

Laila Pearson.jpg

Laila Pearson '18

Physicians for Human Rights

Marilyn Rodriguez.jpg

Marilyn Rodriguez '19

City Life/Vida Urbana

Savita Maharaj.jpg

Savita Maharaj '18

Paraclete Center

Samantha Simpson.jpg

Samantha Simpson '19

Paraclete Center

Seevak Fellows summer 2019
Azhani Duncan-Reese.jpg

Azhani Duncan-Reese '19

Women's Lunch Place

Gabriella Finocchio.jpg

Gabriella Finocchio '19

Corporate Accountability

Jasmine Nguyen.jpg

Jasmine Nguyen '19 

Paraclete Center

Jess Schnitzer.jpg

Jess Schnitzer '20

Paraclete Center and GLAD

Lucia Catino.jpg

Lucia Catino '20

Women's Lunch Place

Mayowa Hassan_edited.jpg

Mayowa Hassan '19

Women's Lunch Place

Meredith Zielonka.jpg

Meredith Zielonka '20

Mass Housing

Morgan Stevenson-Swadling.jpg

Morgan Stevenson-Swadling '20

Jobs with Justice

Noah DeLaski.jpg

Noah DeLaski '19

Community Labor United

Sabrina Nieves.jpg

Sabrina Nieves '20

City Life/Vida Urbana

Vicky Peterlin.jpg

Victoria Peterlin '20

Physicians for Human Rights

Seevak Fellows summer 2020
Claer Jestin .png

Claer Jestin '21

Corporate Accountability

Hailey Mahon.heic

Hailey Mahoney '21

Women's Lunch Place

Mandy Sun.png

Mandy Sun '21

Jobs with Justice

Punnya Kalapurkel.jpg

Punnya Kalapurakkel '21

Community Labor United

Kimberly Landaverde-Guillen.png

Kimberly Landaverde '21

City Life/Vida Urbana

Ruth Shiferaw.png

Ruth Shiferaw '21

Paraclete Center

Safaa AlRamahi.heic

Safaa AlRamahi '21

Physicians for Human Rights

Urvi Gipstein.png

Urvi Gipstein '21

Our Climate

Seevak Fellows summer 2021
Aidan Chen '22.jpg

Aidan Chen '22

Groundwork Project

Gabriela Vasquez Rosado.jpg

Gabriella Vasquez Rosado '22

Corporate Accountability

Grace Pham.png

Grace Pham '22

Jobs with Justice

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Jack Trapanick '22

Massachusetts Peace Action

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Kali Ibrahim '21

Women's Lunch Place