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[liberationtech] Fwd: Funding Letter for HRDAG Internship

Yosem Companys companys at stanford.edu
Fri Oct 7 15:15:42 PDT 2011


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Max Schneider <max.schneider15 at gmail.com>
Date: Fri, Oct 7, 2011 at 3:11 PM
Subject: Funding Letter for HRDAG Internship
To: companys at stanford.edu


Dear Dr. Companys,



My name is Max Schneider and I am a Statistics Intern at the Human Rights
Data Analysis Group (HRDAG), a part of Benetech's Human Rights Program. In
June, I graduated from UCLA, where I studied Statistics and Human Complex
Systems (I have attached my resume here). At HRDAG, I work on our project
with the Guatemalan National Police Archive, processing and analyzing data
that will be used as evidence for several trials charging former police
leadership with human rights violations committed during their Civil War.
Unfortunately, my organizational support ran out at the end of September and
I am working now to raise additional funds to extend my internship. My
manager Megan Price told me that you would be a good contact to send my
information to, as you are the list-serv administrator for the Stanford
Liberation Technology group. Could you please send the attached resume, as
well as the attached photo and the letter below, to your list-serv? It would
be a huge help. If you have any suggestions for the letter - or for me in
funding quest - I would love to hear them. Thank you so much in advance!


Best,

Max


---------------


Hi there,


My name is Max Schneider and I am a Statistics Intern at the Human Rights
Data Analysis Group (HRDAG), a part of the Human Rights Program at Benetech,
a Silicon Valley nonprofit. In June, I graduated from UCLA, where I studied
Statistics and Human Complex Systems. While in college, I strived to find a
way to use my interest in data analysis to help the world around me. I
worked for an atmospheric chemist in Greenland one summer, spent a semester
in London researching climate change, and wrote dozens of articles for my
campus newspaper on topics from Obama’s presidential campaign to local food
recalls.



But it was not until I joined HRDAG that I found an outlet to truly direct
my analytical skills at a benevolent cause. I work on our project with the
Guatemalan National Police Archive, processing, cleaning, and analyzing data
from documents drawn from the Archive, which contains some 80 million sheets
of paper. Scientifically analyzing the sampled documents can help us
understand how communication flowed through the former police system. HRDAG
has used this knowledge to testify before the Guatemalan Constitutional
Court in high-profile cases indicting former police officers and commanders
for crimes against civilians. In August, I traveled to Guatemala to analyze
data showing the command responsibility of a former Police Chief in an
upcoming trial on the forcible disappearance of a labor leader, an
unforgettable and transformative experience. Please find enclosed a photo of
me at the Archive.



I am writing to you today because even though I am passionate about this
work, the funding for my internship has run out and this threatens to stall
– or even end – my ability to contribute to it further. Does your
organization have any funds that could be allocated towards enabling me to
extend my internship, or can you suggest any other institutions that may be
a good fit? Any assistance – no matter how seemingly small – would go a huge
way towards helping me run data analyses that would bolster our expert
testimony at two upcoming Guatemalan trials, including the first formal
genocide trial in the Americas. The world is watching these trials and they
have the potential to set long-standing global precedents.



This is a rare opportunity to work on a momentous project in such a hands-on
way.. Your contribution or advice would enable my continuation of the most
personally meaningful application of statistical analysis I have seen, one
that I hope to maintain as my career. Please contact me by email at
max.schneider15 at gmail.com or via phone at (650) 796-5341.


Thank you very much for your time; I look forward to hearing from you.



Best regards,

Max
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