BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— Illinois Wesleyan University students Lexia Swope ’15 and Julie
Lewis ’16 have been named 2014 Weir Fellows by the University’s Action Research Center
(ARC). The award offers fellowships valued up to $2,500 to students who successfully
implement a project that makes a meaningful impact in the community.
Swope, a psychology and sociology double major from Springfield, Ill., created her
program, Track Your Life, for the Boys & Girls Club of Bloomington-Normal. “It is
a healthy lifestyles program aimed at promoting and teaching youth to live and eat
healthily, as well as exercise,” she said.
“I hope that this project inspires the kids to live healthier lives, and that they
can set an example for their peers and families,” Swope said. The fellowship helps provide healthy snacks, field trips and equipment. Swope will
work at the Boys & Girls Club this summer to implement a new service learning program
involving older students volunteering in the community. Swope is a member of Illinois
Wesleyan’s women’s track and field team and the service organization Circle K International.
A native of Glenview, Ill., Lewis will use the fellowship for Mini Masters, a student-run
program originating from ARC. The Hispanic Studies and sociology double major is president
and director of the program, which invites Illinois Wesleyan students to give one-on-one
music lessons to young residents of Bloomington-Normal.
Lewis, who plays clarinet in the University’s Wind Ensemble, said that more disadvantaged
youth from the community will be able to get involved with the help of the award.
“The Weir Fellowship allows funds to provide instrument repairs, high quality instruments,
T-shirts and musical opportunities at the Bloomington Center for Performing Arts and
Illinois Wesleyan's musical performances,” she said.
Elizabeth Weir, a 1950 Illinois Wesleyan graduate with a degree in sociology who has
maintained an active presence in community service, founded the fellowship. The grant
may be utilized by awardees as income or assistance in project development.
For additional information about the Weir Fellowships, contact ARC at (309) 556-1000