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Celebrating over 100 Years of Service

2023 Scholarship Recipient

Shyla Lensing

This year the Scholarship Committee has chosen an outstanding Redwood High School student to receive both the CMWIC Scholarship and the Kimberly Powell Memorial Scholarship for 2023. Shyla Lensing has demonstrated both scholarship and a commitment to service and social justice during her high school career.

As an intern with Marin County’s Restrictive Covenant Project, she and her team members spent many hours analyzing the county archives to document the history of discriminatory housing practices in Marin. Their work is now a part of the County Library website and is being incorporated into district-wide high school curricula on Marin’s history of racial discrimination. They have been officially recognized as the 2022 Best Intern Team in the County.

Shyla spent 6 weeks this past summer teaching at Marin City’s Freedom School, a countrywide program that provides no—cost education camps for underrepresented student of color focusing on maintaining reading skills through the use of culturally relevant materials. As a Junior Servant Leader Intern, she co-taught a class of 15-20 middle schoolers.

She has worked within her own school on a variety of projects, including the Police Free Schools Marin group, and has participated in an effort to pass TUSD’s first antiracism policy. In her sophomore year, along with two friends who were also seeking connection with a more diverse school community, she co-founded Redwood’s first Women of Color Club.

In addition to these activities, she is a co-editor of the school newspaper, The Redwood Bark, and has written a number of articles over the past three years on topics including sports, social issues, the conflict in Ukraine, and the history of Marin City. She is a runner and was a member of the of the cross-country team, but now enjoys runs with her black lab, Ronnie.

In the fall, Shyla will attend Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, as a Chancellor’s Scholar. This program recognizes students with outstanding leadership abilities, strength of character, academic achievement, and a deep-seated commitment to diversity and social justice. She has also been recruited to Vanderbilt’s MOSAIC (Medley of Students And Ideas Connecting), which showcases and promotes diversity of thought among all students. Shyla will pursue her passion for making change in social systems and making them more accessible to communities of color, possibly through a pre-law academic track.