As an undergraduate, I knew early on that I wanted to become a Global Studies major. My two concentration areas were Asia and Africa. Making this decision early allowed me to find many opportunities offered on campus to travel abroad and complement my studies with these experiences. During my junior year, I studied abroad with the Kenya Semester Program (KSP). As part of this program, I was able to independently intern at an education NGO called Soft Power Education in Uganda teaching special needs children, helping collect data for their health programs and assisting with building maintenance. The knowledge I gained from previous abroad experiences with the KSP program and travels to Nepal with SLU organization Literacy for Nepal led to my application for a Fred Kahrs award for my senior thesis. I was awarded the Kahrs Award to travel back to Nepal and work with SLU Nepali alumni to continue research I began my freshman year. In my thesis, I compared Nepali and Ugandan NGO work strategies, histories, and linguistics.
Since I have graduated in 2012, I joined Americorps ABLE (Ability to Build Lives through Education) in my home city, Buffalo, New York. I am currently working as a teacher’s aid in an International School where most of the population is refugees from all over the world. I also serve with the International Institute of Buffalo resettling refugee children into school when they arrive in Buffalo. am going to serve my second year with Americorps in December 2013, working full-time with Opportunity Corps in the refugee department with the International Institute of Buffalo. I have utilized my global studies degree every day since I have graduated and it has done nothing but open the doors to understanding the complexity of the cultures around me in Buffalo, New York; where most refugees are resettled in the United States.