Jack Wilkins, the William A. McClung Memorial Jefferson Scholar, arrived at U.Va. from his hometown in Mississippi in the fall of 2016 in the midst of a politically divisive U.S. presidential campaign. As a former member of his high school student council and one of two high school student delegates to represent the State of Mississippi at the 54th Annual United States Senate, Jack already had demonstrated an ability to lead, as well as a budding interest in politics. Once on Grounds, he was inspired to address the difficulty he and his peers faced engaging one another in thoughtful debate and expressing opposing political views.
After partnering with Mary Grace Sheers, the Mary and Daniel Loughran Foundation Jefferson Scholar, as well as a couple of other U.Va. students, he was successful this fall in launching Converge UVA, a program designed to match pairs of students with opposing political views and invite them to meet and talk about their differences in a constructive manner.
Read about Converge UVA, its progress to date, and how you can get involved in this recent UVA Today article.