Sarah Lockridge-Steckel, a 21-year old Harvard College junior, was raised in Detroit, MI. She attended high school at Cranbrook Kingswood Schools in Bloomfield Hills, MI. While attending Cranbrook, Sarah was involved in a number of public service activities. As student government president, Sarah organized class service projects designed to engage her class in issues affecting the surrounding areas. Through witnessing the disparities between her high school and public education in Detroit, Sarah became committed to social justice and working with youth to address the vast inequities she observed.
As a junior, Sarah has remained committed to public service throughout her years at Harvard. As a volunteer for the service organization Phillips Brooks House Association (PBHA), Sarah has volunteered with the Head Start readers program. During the summer of 2007, she also served as co-director of the Franklin I-O Summer Program. The program provides educational enrichment to 80 campers, ages 6-12 over seven weeks during the summer. As Co-Director of the program, Sarah was responsible for overseeing curriculum development, planning program field trips and running the day-to-day program operations. Her experiences in this program solidified her commitment to addressing the issues within lower income communities. She also continued her service work by planning and co-leading a service trip down to Mississippi, focused on tutoring youth and learning more about the Civil Rights Movement.
Outside of PBHA, Sarah devotes much of her time to the Black Students Association (BSA). She has served on the board of the organization for all three of her years at Harvard, and currently serves as president of the organization. Sarah’s goal has been to increase the political activism amongst the black community at Harvard. In addition to overseeing social and cultural programming for the 200 person organization, Sarah has also prioritized the development of the organization’s community service program and political action initiatives. During the fall of 2007, Sarah met with and urged Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick to develop more programs and increase funding to prevent youth violence in minority Boston communities. Prior to meeting with Governor Patrick, the BSA held an evening candlelight vigil in Roxbury to draw attention to youth violence in the area and to demand a sound response from the governor’s office.
Sarah hopes to use her experiences in college and high school to begin a career in public service. She is majoring in sociology with a secondary degree in statistics. One of her primary career goals is to develop strategies to bridge the gap between the non-profit and for-profit sectors. She also hopes to continue her work in youth development.