Gastfriend awarded Truman Scholarship for public service pursuits

April 5, 2012, 1:03 p.m.

Princeton University junior Daniel Gastfriend has been awarded a 2012 Truman Scholarship, which provides up to $30,000 for graduate study.

The award, which was given to 54 students among 587 candidates nationwide, "recognizes college juniors with exceptional leadership potential who are committed to careers in government, the nonprofit or advocacy sectors, education or elsewhere in the public service," according to the Truman Scholarship Foundation.

Gastfriend, who is from Newton, Mass., is majoring in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and is pursuing a certificate in African studies. "I am extremely grateful to have received the scholarship, and I thank Princeton for all of the resources and support it has given me. I'm determined to pay it forward by using the scholarship to make as much of a positive impact as I can," he said.

Gastfriend is dedicated to fighting extreme poverty in sub-Saharan Africa, and he plans to use his Truman Scholarship to pursue a career in social entrepreneurship and international development policy. He has moved toward this goal through several activities, including working with nonprofit organizations in central Kenya and teaching business and management skills to a 20-member women's beadwork collaborative.

He is co-chair of the Pace Council for Civic Values, a student group affiliated with the University's Pace Center for Civic Engagement.

The Truman Scholarship Foundation was established by Congress in 1975 as the federal memorial to the 33rd president. There have been 2,844 Truman Scholars selected since the first awards were made in 1977.