Alum Stories

Nothing conveys how the Encampment changes lives better than Encampers’ own stories.

Profiles

Deanna Marie Mousseau


Isaac Ben EzraEncampments: 2015 Jackson, Mississippi; 2016 Amherst, Massachusetts; 2017 Intern, Amherst, Massachusetts
Residence at time of Encampment: Pine Ridge, SD
Now lives in: Spearfish, SD

What did you learn at the Encampment?
The Encampment has changed me entirely — I realized that I don’t have to give into the pressures to fail that I feel from society. I may have to try harder, but now I know that I have power within myself to create change. The EFC has shown me this and influenced me in my career path. I have been a part of the community for three years and I have been introduced to a huge network of remarkable people. Even outside the program, the Encampment offered me support that has contributed to my success today. The Encampment has opened many doors, allowing me to have more opportunities. I am also blessed with lifelong friendships with a lot of beautiful people. read full profile

 

Rachel Miller


Isaac Ben EzraEncampments: 1978 Fieldston School, Bronx, NY
Residence at time of Encampment: Ithaca, NY
Now lives in: New York, NY

What did you learn at the Encampment?
I learned so much that it’s hard to know where to begin. The most important insight was acknowledging racism and its impact on all Americans. read full profile


Ted Floyd


Isaac Ben EzraEncampments: 1952 Fieldston, NY
Residence at time of Encampment: St. Petersburg, Florida
Now lives in: Chicago, Illinois

What did you learn at the Encampment?
I learned how the city, county and state governments worked by sitting in on their sessions. I also learned how the United Nations worked. We participated in discussion groups, workshops, field trips, film forums, seminars, etc. read full profile

Isaac Ben Ezra


Isaac Ben EzraEncampments: 1946 Fieldston, NY
Residence at time of Encampment: Lower East Side, New York
Most recent residence: Amherst, Massachusetts

It is with sadness, that we report the death of Isaac Ben Ezra on October 4, 2017. This interview was conducted before and after the 2017 Encampment at Hampshire College. Isaac visited this year’s summer program where he shared his life story—a one-person record of the great movements for human rights in the 20th and 21st centuries.  ... read full profile

Herb Raffaele


Herb RaffaeleEncampments: 1963 Puerto Rico, staff 1969 & 1970 Montana
Residence at time of Encampment: New York, New York
Now lives in: Harwich Port, Massachusetts

What did you learn at the Encampment?
I learned many things, the most important being about governance – what it should be and what it should not. Also, how poorly governance is understood. Before the Encampment for Citizenship, I had no idea how important power and control were to some people and how far they would go to exert control.   ... read full profile

Angel Mendez


Angel MendezEncampments: 2014 (Chicago, IL) 2015 (Tougaloo, MI) Intern, 2016 (Amherst, MA)
Residence at time of Encampment: Dade City, Florida
Now lives in: Dade City, Florida

What did you learn at the Encampment?
The first year I attended (Chicago, IL; 2014), I learned about so many struggles facing different communities. I learned about police brutality toward the black community.   ... read full profile

Carol Ahlum


Carol AhlumEncampment: Kentucky, 1966
Residence at time of Encampment: a small farm near Quakertown, PA – an hour north of Philadelphia
Now lives in: Jefferson, Maryland

Why is the Encampment important now?
The Encampment is important now, as always, because as alums know, the Encampment changes lives, and we need to create this experience for young people today.  ... read full profile

Miles Rapoport


Miles RapoportEncampment: Kentucky, 1966
Residence at time of Encampment: Great Neck, New York
Now lives in: Hartford, Connecticut

When you arrived, what was your first impression of the Encampment?
I had two impressions. First, how different an environment Barbourville, Kentucky, was from metropolitan New York. Second, how extraordinarily diverse and energetic this group of young leaders was that I was encountering. It was both exciting and challenging.  ... read full profile

Naomi Brodkey Feldman


Naomi FeldmanEncampment: New York, 1950
Residence at time of Encampment: Queens, New York
Now lives in: Davis, California

What did you learn at the Encampment?
The most lasting attitudes that I took home from the Encampment were of not sitting by when I had the chance of making a difference; of doing what I could to make happen the ideals of social justice I believed in; not tolerating indifference, injustice or apathy.  ... read full profile

Kendra Dawson


Kendra DawsonEncampment: Illinois, 2014 & Mississippi, 2015
Residence at time of Encampment: Los Angeles, California
Now lives in: Los Angeles, California

What did you learn at the Encampment?
What I learned from the Encampment is that there is always a way to connect different people from different stories and backgrounds, as well as how to think critically about everything. ... read full profile

Ed Peeples


Ed PeeplesEncampment: New York, 1957
Residence at time of Encampment: Richmond, Virginia
Now lives in: Richmond, Virginia

What was your first impression of the EFC?
I loved it. I didn’t know what to expect. I knew it was a bunch of liberals and I hadn’t seen any in their natural habitat.  ... read full profile

Aaron Richardson


Aaron RichardsonEncampment: Illinois, 2014
Residence at time of Encampment: Springfield, Massachusetts
Now lives in: Springfield, Massachusetts

What made you decide to come to the Encampment?
My mom told me that it was a social justice program with a democratic aspect. When I read up on it I liked it that discussions would be specific as opposed to slight. ... read full profile

Ruth E. Thaler-Carter


Ruth E. Thaler-CarterEncampment: New York, 1970
Residence at time of Encampment: Rochester, New York
Now lives in: Rochester, New York

What was your first impression of the Encampment?
It was an adventure, and I hoped to make friends and learn something about the world. My first impression was that I had found ... read full profile

Shauna Marshall


Shauna MarshallEncampment: Montana, 1970
Residence at time of Encampment: Long Island, New York
Now lives in: San Francisco, California

What motivated you to go to the Encampment?
I wanted to do something where I was working with a community to help that community. I didn’t know about social justice in particular but I wanted to serve.  ... read full profile

David Rothenberg


Davic RothenbergEncampment: New York, 1953
Residence at time of Encampment: Teaneck, New Jersey
Now lives in: New York, New York

What topic did you spend the most time on at the Encampment?
Civil rights. . . this was the 50s and the notion of civil rights was on our minds even if not on the rest of white America’s. ... read full profile

Ada E. Deer


Ada E. DeerEncampment: New York, 1956
Residence at time of Encampment: Wisconsin, on the Menominee Indian Reservation
Now lives in: Wisconsin

What motivated you to go to the Encampment?
I’ve always been a curious person, full of adventure and eager to see the world. A friend of mine had ... read full profile

Dan Isaacson


Dan IsaacsonEncampment: New York, 1950
Residence at time of Encampment: New York, New York
Now lives in: Boca Raton, Florida

What motivated you to go to the Encampment?
I was a student at Fieldston Ethical Culture School where EFC was being held. My father was on the Board and our family was close friends with Algernon Black. Al’s son David was a classmate.  ... read full profile

Jason Neal


jason nealEncampment: California, 1989
Residence at time of Encampment: Long Island, New York
Now lives in: Long Island, New York

What community service projects do you remember?
Community service was a big component. We worked at a church that operated a soup kitchen. We ... read full profile

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