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AHS grad wins $30,000 Truman Scholarship

Ashland High School Graduate Joseph Bornstein won the prestigious Truman Scholarship for 2007.

The Truman Scholarship is nationally competitive and awards the winners up to $30,000.00 for graduate school, and preferential graduate school admission. Winners attend the Truman Summer Institute held in Washington D.C.

More than 600 undergrads applied, and one scholarship was awarded per state with several others at large.

Bornstein, 22, interviewed in San Francisco with 20 other finalists last month and was selected on March 27, 2006. After his internship in Washington D.C., he will have the option to begin graduate studies, or apply for the Truman Fellows Program.

The Truman Scholarship Foundation's president is Madeleine Albright with headquarters in Washington D.C.

An awards banquet and ceremony is scheduled for May 20 in Independence, Mo., at the Truman Library Institute. Winners are required to work in public service for five to seven years after graduate school. Public service is broad-based and covers a multitude of options.

Bornstein was a strong contender in that he has been active in previous public service projects. The first major project was during the school year 2004-'05.

While attending Whitman College, Bornstein spearheaded a project to raise enough money to build a home for a Nicaraguan mother and son left destitute after a fishing accident killed Alix Fermin. The idea of the project was not only to build a home, but to provide a stable form of livelihood; once built, Alix's wife could rent the house while she and her three-year-old son, Fabian, temporarily lived with her parents.

In the summer of 2005, Bornstein, Whitman College students (Curt Bowen, Will Gibson and James Fuller) and AHS graduates, Brook Golling, Josh Dunn and Will Fain headed to San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua to deliver to funds and help build the home.

In the fall of 2005 Bornstein and fellow Whitman student, Curt Bowen, co-founded the organization Whitman Direct Action.

In the summer of 2006, WDA, and AHS graduates, Golling, Ethan Townsend and Ben Carrier headed for Central America once more. There they launched a biodiesel project where they worked with several NGOs and held two international conferences on biodiesel. Both projects were partially made possible by local fund raising events at the Havurah Shir Hadash Temple in Ashland.

Bornstein is the son of local artist Rebecca Gabriel, and Southern Oregon University instructor, Jonah Bornstein. Bornstein plans to obtain a Masters of Public Administration and Environmental Sciences during graduate school and ultimately found a NGO grounded in environmental issues.