Graduate Program: Political Science
Undergraduate Degree:University of Texas at Austin
Trinity Nonprofit Agency:Badger Association, Communications Coordinator
Full-time Service Experience: In the summer of 2004, I learned that my Peace Corps assignment would be in Togo, in West Africa. I was assigned to the Girls’ Education and Empowerment project, which has two main goals: building community support for girls’ education and helping young women to develop self-confidence and a mindset to succeed in a society that often treats them as second-class citizens. Togo was the first country in which the Peace Corps implemented a project of this type, and because of its success, projects modeled after it have been started in other African countries.
My time in Togo was enriched by the people around me. Many of my colleagues were well educated and motivated. Their enthusiasm, intelligence and patience enabled us to combine our talents and learn from one another. As my proficiency in French and understanding of Togolese culture grew, I expanded the scope and complexity of the projects I took on, moving from teaching students to training teachers, from leading projects to teaching colleagues how to design and run them, and from struggling to read French to translating documents for the African Union.
Trinity Fellowship Experience: I searched a long time for a program that offered a mixture of scholarship and service. By participating in the Trinity Fellows Program and studying political science at Marquette, I envisioned that I would gain a fuller understanding of how our political system operates and what strategies work in overcoming obstacles to lasting social change.
Studying political science at Marquette has expanded my knowledge of ways in which politics and law interact and the conflicting pressures and ideas that influence decision making. In my work at the Badger Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired I participated in management decision making during the organization’s merger and transition period. My day-to-day work has included managing our community outreach efforts, editing our newsletter, updating our Website and helping with fundraising efforts. Trinity Fellows has been an invaluable experience that has helped me to grow both personally and professionally.
Plans after graduation: I plan to attend law school or work at a nonprofit organization in Texas.