Yale Junior Awarded Truman Scholarship

Yale College junior Chiraag Bains has won a coveted Truman Scholarship in recognition of his "leadership potential, intellectual ability and likelihood of 'making a difference.'"

Yale College junior Chiraag Bains has won a coveted Truman Scholarship in recognition of his “leadership potential, intellectual ability and likelihood of ‘making a difference.’”

Bains, of Chelmsford, Mass., was one of 76 scholars selected from a nationwide pool of 590 candidates. In order to qualify for the Truman Scholarship, applicants have to be in the top quarter of their class and committed to a career in the government or the not-for-profit sector.

“It is an affirmation that you are doing important work,” Bains said of the honor.

Among his community activities, Bains lists chairing a political action committee, organizing a Hate Crimes Awareness Series, mentoring juvenile offenders and planning an event for Amnesty International. He has also volunteered in the soup kitchen of a local shelter, served as the regional director of the Student Alliance to Reform Corporations and been a co-coordinator of the Dwight Hall Social Justice Network, Yale’s umbrella for student activist organizations.

The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation was established by Congress in 1975. It provides $3,000 to $30,000 for the senior year and $27,000 for graduate study, as well as priority admission at some premier graduate institutions. The 2002 Truman scholars will assemble in mid-May for a week-long leadership development program in Missouri, after which they will receive their awards in a special ceremony.

After his graduation next year, Bains plans to take one or two years to do work in police-community relations. Following that, he will use the scholarship to pursue a doctorate in the history of race relations and a law degree. He envisions a future working in the Civil Rights Department of the Justice Department. “One day, I hope to be the Attorney General,” he said.

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Media Contact

Dorie Baker: dorie.baker@yale.edu, 203-432-1345