Plaistow student earns scholarship to serve communities through music

COURTESY PHOTOAnna DeLoi of Plaistow earned a prestigious Harry S. Truman Scholarship for her commitment to public service.

A Plaistow student has earned a prestigious award for her leadership and commitment to helping others.

Williams College junior Anna DeLoi was awarded the Harry S. Truman Scholarship, an award given to college juniors demonstrating exceptional leadership potential who are committed to careers in public service.

DeLoi plans to pursue a joint degree through the Stanford Graduate School of Education’s Master of Arts/Master of Public Policy program and hopes to run a community music education organization in an under-resourced, rural community.

She is one of 62 recipients chosen from an applicant pool of 768 from 315 colleges and universities and is the 18th Williams scholar to earn the award.

Truman scholars receive up to $30,000 in support for graduate study, in addition to leadership training, graduate school and career counseling, and access to special internship opportunities within the federal government.

DeLoi plans to develop an independent, community arts center supported by a nonprofit that she would also create. Her plan is to eventually have a network of community arts centers in rural communities supported by the nonprofit.

“I’m so grateful for the support of the Truman Foundation in continuing to pursue the work I’m passionate about,” DeLoi said. “I couldn’t have gotten here without the guidance of many professors and mentors, both at Williams and at home, and my incredible family.”

While at Williams, DeLoi has been interested in the power of music education and what it can do for those living in rural communities.

She is the founder and director of Ephs Out Loud Community Arts Initiative that engages Williams students, faculty, staff and community members around the shared experience of music.

During spring break of her first year at Williams, DeLoi worked with an organization called From the Top to develop and implement a week-long arts leadership program in rural Appalachia.

DeLoi is a music and psychology double major and has worked as a student stage manager for the Williams Department of Music, a teaching assistant with the Berkshire Symphony, a music intern at Greylock Elementary School and as a teaching artist with the Berkshire Children and Families program, Kids 4 Harmony.

“Anna’s greatest passion lies in community building and service,” said Katya King, Williams’ director of fellowships. “She has an impressive record of engagement with music outreach in rural communities."