SOIL’s Executive Director Receives the John and Elizabeth Phillips Award from her Alma Mater
Sasha and SOIL Board Member Daniel Tillias.
SOIL’s co-founder and Executive Director, Dr. Sasha Kramer, was recently awarded the John and Elizabeth Phillips Award by her alma mater, Phillips Exeter Academy. The award is a reflection of the incredible work that the entire SOIL team has done in Haiti. Both Sasha and SOIL Board Member, Daniel Tillias attended the awards ceremony with the trustees of the Academy to share more about Haiti and the efforts of the broader SOIL team.
The Phillips Award is given to an alumnus or alumna of the Academy whose life demonstrates the co-founders’ (John and Elizabeth Phillips) ideal of goodness and knowledge united in noble character and usefulness to mankind. Anyone who knows Sasha and has witnessed her work, is familiar with her long-time advocacy for human rights, her passion for ecologically regenerative solutions that benefit people and planet, and her deep commitment to the people of Haiti and to SOIL – the organization she’s been at the helm of for the past 15 years.
During her visit to campus, Sasha met with several classes and clubs and spoke with current Exeter students about her career, education and work in Haiti. Sasha shared the greatest lessons Haiti has taught her, saying she hoped they would be relevant to students’ lives as they grow into global citizens. “Much of my academic training focused on objective observation,” she said. “But Haiti quickly taught me that emotional intelligence — the ability to empathize with others, no matter how painful — was the most valuable tool for building the relationships that are pivotal for making change.”
“Millions of Haitian children face an uncertain educational future as schools across the country close due to insecurity,” Kramer said in her closing remarks to the Assembly. “In a world where education should be a right but remains a privilege, I want to remind you that while this privilege does come with profound responsibility, it also brings with it an incredible opportunity — the opportunity to use your privilege and education to make a difference in the lives of others.”
Sasha was presented with the award during Exeter’s Family Weekend at the fall meeting of the Trustees. In addition to the award, members of Sasha’s graduation class collectively raised more than $7,000 in her honor, as a show of solidarity for SOIL’s work in Haiti.
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