Hometown: Te Awamutu, New Zealand
Minors: Shepherd Poverty Program and Latin American and Caribbean Studies
Internship: Foundation for Sustainable Development, Cochabamba, Bolivia
I think the Shepherd Program helps to encourage students to broaden and deepen the ways that they engage with the local community during their time at Washington and Lee and keep poverty issues in mind in their future careers. In these ways it is integral to the development of genuine honour and civility, two values the University claims to develop in its graduates.
What I most enjoyed about my time in the Shepherd Program were the opportunities to discuss with faculty and staff one-on-one about the poverty issues they're most interested in. The most important lesson I learned participating in this program is that listening and understanding the big picture are essential to any work involving poverty. Taking the lessons I learned in the classroom and sharing them with others outside the program was probably one of the most challenging aspect I was faced with. The Shepherd Program also was central to my experience as a student: a forum where I made some of my closest friends, learned about the culture of the United States (and Washington and Lee specifically) and lent a hand to the citizens of Lexington and Rockbridge County.
I'll never forget the people that I worked with during my Shepherd Alliance internship. Learning about their experiences and perspectives on daily life were at least as valuable as any academic text. The service trip I went on during Washington Break of my sophomore year stands out as a defining moment in my Shepherd experience. Sandra Hayslette led an intense trip for our small group of first-year Bonner Leaders to Immokalee in Central Florida where we helped in a homeless shelter, soup kitchen, Habitat build, clothing donation center and met with representatives from a migrant farm workers union. The trip provided a vivid snapshot of the kind of volunteer work being done in a community quite different from Lexington and Rockbridge.
My experience with this program has definitely impacted my future plans. I now know I'm interested in a career where I interact with people on a daily basis and am engaged with my local community. Furthermore, I plan to continue volunteering in communities I will live in and work and research in ways that help impoverished peoples.
Information and Communication Technology Development in Bangladesh and Nigeria
Community Service Involvement: