Dispatches > The Buzz


Issue: "Attack and dissent," May 19, 2001
  • Competing against 3,000 other students, two eighth-grade homeschoolers won the statewide finals in the Texas "MathCounts" competition. Winning first and second place respectively, Alex Schwendner of Austin and Jason Ferguson of Dallas won a free trip to Washington, D.C., for a national competition, along with scholarship offers from five Texas colleges. "I like math because it's not artificial and created by humans," said Alex, 14. "It's very rational and orderly because it exists separately from human effort."
  • After directing a government-funded women's shelter, Sandra Lewis grew disillusioned with a welfare system that "entraps its participants." So she co-founded Bridge of Hope, a Pennsylvania shelter that partners single moms with mentoring teams from local churches. Last year, the shelter provided 30 women with gradually decreasing rent assistance while church mentors helped them gain independence. "These women needed more than temporary shelter; they needed an extended family, and the church provided that," said Ms. Lewis, reporting that 25 of the women obtained long-term jobs and housing.

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