Preston Public Interest Career Fund Recipient
As a twenty-year-old college student, I am certain of very few things in my life. I know, however, that women can be uniquely powerful agents of growth in a world plagued with extreme poverty and inequality. I know that I want to work to promote women in this role. I know that, in order to accomplish my long-term goal of reshaping development policy to focus on the role of women in fostering sustainable growth, I need experience in international development fieldwork and exposure to experiences of extreme poverty. And I know that being the Monitoring and Evaluation Fellow with the BOMA Project in Nanyuki, Kenya will be invaluable in giving me the foundation to work to make the world a better, more equitable place.
BOMA’s mission, to “empower women…to establish sustainable livelihoods, build resilient families, graduate from extreme poverty and catalyze change,” perfectly articulates my own professional aims, though admittedly in much better terms than I have ever been able to do. The woman-focused and data-driven approach of BOMA’s poverty graduation program drew me to BOMA, particularly in light of its geographic focus. BOMA’s fieldwork is done in Kenya’s Marsabit County, which, despite being in a country considered by many to have grown out of extreme poverty, would be the third poorest country in the world based on its per capita GDP. The stark income inequality makes Marsabit County an area of critical need for the type of development work BOMA does. Connecting with those people most affected by that inequality is an essential component in my training to conduct the work I hope to do to address inequality on a global level.
A compassionate and open perspective is key to work centered around experiences that are not my own. My ability to seek out and understand the perspectives of others and my commitment to adapting those perspectives to problem solving will make me a unique contributor to BOMA. Too often, there exists a gap between data and lived human experience, and I see this as a critical limitation in delivering effective community-centered work. My outgoing, empathetic nature will allow me to bridge that gap by translating interactions with BOMA program participants into meaningful and actionable results both as a Fellow and as a student returning to Bowdoin. My classes this semester alone have the potential for meaningful application to the work I will do this summer, and I look forward to the countless ways in which my experience as a BOMA Fellow will inform and enrich my future studies and career opportunities.
- Date October 16, 2017
- Tags 2017, Africa, Junior, Preston, Social Service