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Graduate Program: MA, International Affairs
Undergraduate Degree, Institution: International Politics, Women's Studies, Pennsylvania State University
Trinity Nonprofit Agency: The Healing Center
Peace Corps, 2000-2002. The Gambia
It had always been a dream of mine to join the Peace Corps. I served as a Rural Health Extensionist and HIV Educator in The Gambia, West Africa. I lived in and worked closely with a rural village community to determine priorities for health education. At the village Primary School , I taught Health Class to Grades 4, 5, and 6, established and supervised a Girls Soccer Team, worked with the teachers to construct teaching aids and develop a resource library. Through my service, I developed a deeper understanding of the complexities involved with HIV awareness.
I extended my service to create and launch a Gender Sensitive HIV/AIDS Initiative that trained volunteers and staff to implement gender sensitive HIV/AIDS educational strategies.
My experience as a Peace Corps Volunteer had a profound effect upon me. Although graduate education was a long-time goal of mine, I found it very challenging to throw myself back into the academic environment after such a deep, hands on experience. As a Trinity Fellow, I was able to bridge the gap between the academic world and service. I greatly valued my connection to the community and my agency, while obtaining my Masters of International Affairs.
Through the Trinity Fellowship, I had the unique opportunity to be part of a small team of people birthing a new non-profit to provide advocacy and support to survivors of sexual abuse and their loved ones. I designed and implemented the Volunteer Program at The Healing Center and grew it to include more than thirty volunteers. In addition, I was active in the creation of organizational policy, and the implementation and evaluation of programming.
The Trinity Fellowship has exposed me to the world of nonprofits in a deep and intimate manner. Not only have I gained from my own experience at The Healing Center, but have also benefited from a variety of coursework and the insight and experience of other fellows working in Milwaukee nonprofits. My experience as a Trinity Fellow has both enriched my academic studies and professional development.
I look forward to integrating my passion of international development and gender issues with the experience I have gained as a Trinity Fellow. I plan to seek a staff position in a nongovernmental international development organization.
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