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Nourish International

Examining Power, Privilege, and our Role in International Development by Nathan Albright

November 18, 2014 | Posted in 2014, Alumni Spotlight, Newsletters, Nourish in the News, Office Updates, Student Advisory Board, Summer Institute, Summer Projects | By

Sometimes to think critically, you need to listen to your biggest critics. It would be hard to find someone who was more critical of international volunteer projects than Ivan Illich. As we begin looking into potential project partners for next summer, maybe listening to someone like Illich will help us think more critically about some of the tough decisions involved.

In 1968, the philosopher and former Catholic Priest spoke to the “Conference on InterAmerican Student Projects” about its work in Mexico and Latin America. In this impassioned speech, he told the well intentioned ‘do-gooders’ that “the existence of organizations like yours is offensive” and “to hell with good intentions… the road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Here’s a little of what he went on to say:

By definition, you cannot help being ultimately vacationing salesmen for the middle-class “American Way of Life,” since that is really the only life you know.
Next to money and guns, the third largest North American export is the U.S. idealist…
Ideally, these people define their role as service. Actually, they frequently wind up alleviating the damage done by money and weapons, or “seducing” the “underdeveloped” to the benefits of the world of affluence and achievement.
All you will do in a Mexican village is create disorder.
You start on your task without any training. Even the Peace Corps spends around $10,000 on each corps member to help him adapt to his new environment and to guard him against culture shock. How odd that nobody ever thought about spending money to educate poor Mexicans in order to prevent them from the culture shock of meeting you?
Suppose you went to a U.S. ghetto this summer and tried to help the poor there “help themselves.” Very soon you would be either spit upon or laughed at. People offended by your pretentiousness would hit or spit. People who understand that your own bad consciences push you to this gesture would laugh condescendingly. Soon you would be made aware of your irrelevance among the poor, of your status as middle-class college students on a summer assignment. … If you insist on working with the poor, if this is your vocation, then at least work among the poor who can tell you to go to hell. It is incredibly unfair for you to impose yourselves on a village where you are so linguistically deaf and dumb that you don’t even understand what you are doing, or what people think of you. And it is profoundly damaging to yourselves when you define something that you want to do as “good,” a “sacrifice” and “help.”

That was nearly 50 years ago. Since then, the phenomenon of traveling to economically poor regions to volunteer—sometimes referred to as voluntourism—has seen a dramatic rise in popularity. But are the same issues Illich warned against still relevant today?

A more recent viewpoint comes from Linda Richter, executive director of the Human Sciences Research Council, who led a study looking into what she calls the “thriving industry of AIDS orphan tourism” in sub-Saharan Africa. What she found is disturbing. The majority of children in these orphanages are not orphans, she explains “[they] are there because of poverty rather than because their parents have died. Destitute parents may place their children in orphanages in the hope that their child will receive meals, clothing and schooling.” An influx of voluntourists who are willing to pay for the emotionally powerful experience of working in an orphanage has effectively created a market for orphans that local communities are now filling by giving up their own children. Richter explains:

Short-term volunteer tourists are encouraged to “make intimate connections” with previously neglected, abused, and abandoned young children. However, shortly after these ‘connections’ have been made, tourists leave—many undoubtedly feeling that they have made a positive contribution to the plight of very vulnerable children. And, in turn, feeling very special as a result of receiving a needy child’s affection. Unfortunately, many of the children they leave behind have experienced another abandonment to the detriment of their short- and long-term emotional and social development.

Rather than being raised by their living parents and family members, children are raised through an ever-changing stream of foreign volunteers that is “likely to be especially damaging to young children.” In light of this kind of study, it’s understandable that Illich and others have warned against voluntourism altogether. It’s disturbing to imagine the kind of damage that can be (and has been) done to a small community by a group of well-intentioned Westerners on a whirlwind trip to “make a difference” abroad. But how does something like that happen? And how can we avoid being part of a potentially detrimental project? Social critic and entrepreneur Pippa Biddle thinks it starts with acknowledging privilege.

When it comes to the power dynamics of voluntourism, it is all about privilege. Privilege comes in a multitude of forms and is sometimes hard to identify. There is racial privilege, then there is economic privilege, educational privilege, geographic privilege, gender privilege, religious privilege, privilege that comes with adhering to heteronormative standards, skinny privilege, and a million more that have yet to be recognized or that I just do not know.
Privilege is, at its core, easy to identify but difficult to own up to. Those who experience it, myself included, struggle to openly recognize its existence as we hope beyond hope that our kind intentions and good will are enough to overcome it. But they aren’t. Intentions are not enough.

Amy Ernst, a human rights advocate and international aid worker, agrees that good intentions won’t protect those you may work with and offers a concrete example from her experience:

The small team I worked with taught me the many ways I could make problems worse, even with the best of intentions… it’s not always easy to predict when your actions will cause harm. As a white American, my presence alone indicated wealth and could endanger people—even entire villages—as armed groups, or community members, in desperate need could have targeted people I spoke with, thinking I had left money or goods behind.

Rafia Zakaria, a columnist for Pakistan’s largest English-language newspaper, explains another pitfall of unchecked privilege in a foreign culture:

Typically other people’s problems seem simpler, uncomplicated and easier to solve than those of one’s own society. In this context, the decontextualized hunger and homelessness in Haiti, Cambodia or Vietnam is an easy moral choice. Unlike the problems of other societies, the failing inner city schools in Chicago or the haplessness of those living on the fringes in Detroit is connected to larger political narratives. In simple terms, the lack of knowledge of other cultures makes them [seem] easier to help.

The dangers of privilege and relying on good intentions are very real and are all the more reason to be cautious and well-informed while interacting with another culture. However most, like Zakaria, believe there is still a great value to the experience of working alongside a foreign community and that “despite its flaws, the educational aspect of voluntourism’s cross-cultural exchange must be saved, made better instead of being rejected completely.” Zakaria believes we can do this by focusing on “the recipient community’s actual needs” as opposed to “the volunteer’s quest for experience.” Plenty of others offer their own advice and experiences to consider while you sift through international projects:

Richter suggests that rather than volunteering in an orphanage:

Every available resource should be utilised to support families and extended kin to enable them to provide high quality care for their children. Out-of-home residential care should not be an option when support can be given to families to take care of their own children.

Biddle believes we should first look at what we have to offer a community:

Wanting to create change does not necessarily mean that you have the skills or access to the resources needed to make that happen… [Students] should be helped, with input from the community, in finding what skills she can offer, whether that be fund-raising for new textbooks or helping with the harvest.

Young volunteers offer unique sets of skills and experiences that most current placement organizations don’t do enough to take advantage of. By sending volunteers to do complicated tasks, we set them up for failure and increase the likelihood that their trips become poverty tourism rather than productive service work.

Ernst reminds us that even if we think we have a pretty firm grasp on the project situation:

Accountability and humility are key. You may not have a training booklet telling you what’s right or wrong, but local experts exist everywhere. And if you look hard enough, you will find that all skills are needed; you just need to figure out where and how to apply them in the appropriate context.

Ossob Mohamud, a contributor for an African subsidiary of The Guardian, suggests addressing the “root institutional and structural causes of the problem”:

Time and energy would be better spent building real solidarity between disparate societies based on mutual respect and understanding. Instead of focusing on surface symptoms of poverty, volunteers and the organisations that recruit them should focus on the causes that often stem from an unjust global economic order. Why not advocate and campaign for IMF and World Bank reforms? How about having volunteers advocate for their home country to change aggressive foreign and agricultural policies (such as subsidy programmes)? This might seem unrealistic but the idea is to get volunteers to understand their own (direct or indirect) role in global poverty. The idea is to get volunteers truly invested in ending poverty, and not simply to feel better about themselves.

Among the countless voices offering opinions on navigating the world of international volunteering, there isn’t one that reveals a clear path to picking a partner or a guaranteed method for a successful project. From the partner selection process to your first day on site, to posting pictures online and talking to friends when you get home, there’s a lot to be considered. A few basic themes seem to repeat:

Be educated. Learn whatever you can about the region and the culture of the people you’re planning to work with. Be aware of the historical events that led to their complicated situation and to your own.

Be humble. Part of learning is knowing how much you still don’t know. Remember that you’re coming from a position of immense privilege- simply by being enrolled in a college and travelling by plane to a project you are part of a relatively small global class. Be aware of the power dynamic this creates as well as the danger that power brings with it.

Be practical. Good intentions are not enough to guarantee success. Find out what the community needs (as opposed to what you want to do), and ask yourselves what you can realistically contribute. Attack root causes, rather than surface problems. Will people be better off when you leave? Pick a project or partner that has proven results.

At the end of the day, try to be thankful for the incredible gift of being invited into another culture and remember how much there is to learn from a culture so incredibly different than our own. Even Ivan Illich has some advice for those who are willing to go abroad humbly:

[Traveling on these projects] could lead you to new awareness: the awareness that even North Americans can receive the gift of hospitality without the slightest ability to pay for it; the awareness that for some gifts one cannot even say “thank you.”

Nathan Albright is the Community Discourse Coordinator at Nourish International.

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Annotations:

Ivan Illich speech to the Conference on InterAmerican Student Projects

http://blogs.cornell.edu/ccecrosscultural/2011/11/09/ivan-illich-to-hell-with-good-intentions/

HSRC- AIDS Orphan Tourism

http://www.hsrc.ac.za/en/review/August-2010/aids-orphan-tourism

New York Times- Voluntourism Debate http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2014/04/29/can-voluntourism-make-a-difference/poverty-as-a-tourist-attraction

Pippa Biddle- White Girls Aren’t The Problem…
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/pippa-biddle/little-white-girls-arent-_b_6062638.html

Rafia Zakaria- The White Tourist’s Burden
http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2014/4/volunter-tourismwhitevoluntouristsafricaaidsorphans.html

Ossob Mohamud
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/feb/13/beware-voluntourists-doing-good

Relationships Matter: The Nourish Summer Institute

May 1, 2014 | Posted in Alumni Spotlight, Nourish Office, Office Updates, Summer Institute | By

This is a guest post by Nourish Alumnus, John-Paul Smith

C.S. Lewis notes in Mere Christianity, ¨When the most important things in our life happen we quite often do not know, at the moment, what is going on. It is often when one looks back that he realizes what has happened.¨

I didn’t know anything about social entrepreneurship before I attended the Nourish Summer Institute. I was a history major committed to pursuing public service in an old-fashioned way — by working with federally elected officials. I stumbled upon a post that a friend of a friend made in July on my college website inviting anyone to join her in Chapel Hill for the Institute in August. I responded with an interest in spending time in the southern part of heaven and a curiosity to learn more about an unfamiliar form of making a difference.

That doesn’t really matter to you, though. What matters to you is how Nourish might affect your life.

To start, imagine this:

Imagine being a twentysomething.  You had a transformative experience as a college student.  You found a group of friends you like, discovered a subject you love, maybe studied abroad, interned with a company, volunteered with a campaign, or conducted research with a favorite professor.  Maybe you did all of them.  Then you graduated.  The first few months were amazing, then, slowly but surely, your world seemed to turn upside down.  Your friends dispersed, your interest groups dissolved, and your life seemed to drift into foreign waters without much direction, which leads you to today.

Today you maintain your hunger to learn and lead.  Your graduation speaker delivered a commencement speech no one should ever forget and you find yourself revisiting its transcript, maybe re-watching his or her speech online.  The speaker asked you to be bold, to think different, to fight the good fight, to never give up, to put a dent in the world.  There’s nothing else you’d rather do while supporting yourself and you have little doubt that you can.  You’re just not sure how — and the commencement speaker didn’t exactly lay out a blueprint. 

Originally, you thought the world was more clocklike than it is.  You thought you could take it apart over a year or two and figure it out.   You’re beginning to realize the world operates more like a cloud: it’s constantly moving, constantly evolving, understandable in one moment, elusive in another, many things to many people, and hardly paying attention to a thing you do.   It makes you feel isolated.  Like you’re lost in a haze and, perhaps, overlooked.  Anxiety ensues.  Your parents drive you crazy asking how the job search is going – and you’re starting to drive them crazy, especially if their house is once again your home.  (Given that more than one-third of 25-29 year olds in the United States have moved back in with their parents, this is not unlikely.)

If you’re lucky and have a sense of direction, you may feel paralyzed by choice.  You’re pulled between deciding to stay near home, make a difference locally, and save some money or to venture off, spread your wings, and explore a new place with the little money you have.  You wonder if you should start a company, go to graduate school, relocate to the city nearby, to the coast across the country, to a different continent entirely, or maybe settle in with a company like Google or Goldman Sachs.  All seem like good choices.  But you wonder if any are the best choice.  After all, this is your time to take a risk, to try something new.

Each option seems like it determines the rest of your life.  Recognizing how volatile the world can be, you’re unsure which path to take or that any are as certain as they suggest.  The more ambitious you are, the harder it is to commit to any of the current options.  The less decisive you are, the more all of your dreams seem to slip away, slowly and painfully.  Whatever the case, you wonder if school actually prepared you to succeed in the real world and you wonder if the world as it is actually wants you to live a significant life.

This story may not sound familiar to you as you finish school but it will. There are 50 million twentysomethings in the United States and the best bet is that many of them feel this way right now.  What if they didn’t have to?

The famous screenwriter Robert McKee tells us that all great stories are told in conflict. They’re about characters who want something and overcome conflict to get it. This is true — especially for individuals who want to change the world. Real growth is not easy and no one avoids the discomfort of uncertainty. So there is that.

But a second and equally important point is that we emerge out of relationships. We become who we are largely in relationship to the people around us, the people they know, and the people they know. David Brooks echoes this in The Social Animal, Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler in Connected, Malcolm Gladwell in The Tipping Point, Daniel Goleman in Social Intelligence, Meg Jay in The Defining Decade, Tina Rosenberg in Join the Club, Robert Putnam in Bowling Alone and Charles Murray in Coming Apart. They all tell us pretty much the same thing: relationships matter. The Great Man Theory of history stands on weak ground. The reality is every story has a backstory, and every backstory is usually filled with a room full of people.

Nourish is a room full of people that changes your life and professional trajectory  — if you allow it to.

 

I went into the Institute hardly knowing a person. I realize now that the choice to show up was one of the more important decisions I’ve ever made. I discovered a boss and mentor, future colleagues and friends, friend groups and roommates who are all nodes in the Nourish network and active participants in serving the public good wherever they are, however they do it.

joIt’s rare to be part of a peer group that gives itself permission to be bold and act different. That’s what you will find with Nourish —  a social safety net and social launch pad with global reach and homespun warmth. I invite you to participate in the Nourish community and encourage you to stay actively engaged as you seek to fight a good fight and overcome conflict to put a dent in the world. We’re here for you. We will struggle with you. We won’t know where it leads but we’ll do our best and keep getting better. Wherever we end up, I hope it stuns us all.

 – John-Paul Smith

Guest Post: Nourish Alumnus Felipe Moreno

February 28, 2014 | Posted in Alumni Spotlight, Nourish Office, Office Updates, Summer Projects | By

Guest Post by Ohio State Nourish Alumnus Felipe Moreno 

During the summer of 2010, I traveled to Peru with Nourish International in partnership with MOCHE. For 5 weeks, five other Ohio State students and I moved rocks, shoveled hard soil, and shaped rebar in order to build a water reservoir in Cerro Blanco, Peru. It was an immense undertaking to build the reservoir on the rocky hills of Cerro Blanco. I am proud to say that the reservoir now provides potable water to the people of Cerro Blanco. After my project with Nourish International, I left with a desire to work in international development in the future. In September of 2012, I began my service as a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay, an obscure South American country rarely visited by international tourists.

There most striking similarity that I have noticed between my experiences with Nourish International and Peace Corps Paraguay is an effort to include local residents in the development project. In Peru, our partner organization, MOCHE, Inc., included the residents of Cerro Blanco in every step of the project. The effort to get clean water in Cerro Blanco sprouted from a water committee that was started by a few residents in the 1990s. The idea existed but the community lacked resources and ways to acquire those resources. That is where MOCHE, Inc. and Nourish International found their role in Cerro Blanco.

My work with the Peace Corps is a little different but it includes grassroots efforts to solve environment problems in Tobati. I do environmental education in a few schools and have started a few gardens in those schools. In my work with schools, I try to not push my ideas on them but instead work with the teachers and administrators to decide where I’m most useful. With my youth group, I also let them decide what environmental problems we wanted to address. They chose trash so we did a few trash clean-ups. It isn’t the most glamorous project idea but it is what they want and what the community needs.

The inclusion of the local community is something that made my Nourish project successful and I try to practice the same thing here in Paraguay. Now in my final year of service, I look forward to working more closely with the local schools and youth to address their needs and build a more environment-friendly community.

– Felipe Moreno

 

Guest Post: Nourish Alumnus Amna Qamar

February 18, 2014 | Posted in Alumni Spotlight, Office Updates, Summer Projects | By

Guest Post by UCLA Nourish Alumnus Amna Qamar

Life After Nourish? There is such a thing, y’all.

I was a member of Nourish at UCLA from 2008 to 2012 beginning as a general body member and graduating as Chapter Director. After graduation, I moved to Washington D.C. with the hopes of finding a job at a small non-profit implementing international development programs. In my mind, the perfect job would be to facilitate and implement the equivalent of Nourish’s summer projects. Instead I found myself working at the U.S. Office of Foreign Assistance Resources at the Department of State. The office is a joint State Department and USAID (U.S. Agency for International Development) organization which manages funds used to finance both agencies’ foreign assistance programs. We help decide how slivers of the foreign assistance budget are spent and USAID missions and State Department bureau field offices implement the programs on the ground.

While the work I do on a daily basis does not resemble the work Nourish Chapters do, both organizations operate on the premise that well-designed aid is good. We see aid as a tool and a long-term investment. We recognize that if other countries and communities succeed, the United States succeeds. And we both believe that local organizations can be instrumental to deliver aid effectively. What stuck with me from Nourish may not be the same for every other member and I think that is the inherently remarkable thing about the organization–that it appeals to diverse interests and can lead its members to divergent paths. Do you want to pursue Nourish Project like work full time? Do you want to continue working in partnership with communities and implementing sustainable development programs? You can.

– Amna Qamar 1c49201

Guest Post: Nourish Alumnus Jen Smith

January 30, 2014 | Posted in Alumni Spotlight, Nourish Office, Ventures | By

Guest Post by University of Tennessee Nourish Alumnus Jen Smith

Social innovation refers to the creation of new ideas or strategies to solve a social problem.  Social innovators or social entrepreneurs are individuals that work together to develop these innovative ideas and turn them into action. Nourish International engages students and empowers communities to make a lasting impact on extreme poverty and provides an avenue for students to learn from, reach out to and connect with an incredibly vast network of social innovators.

Nourish International served as the ideal induction into the world of social entrepreneurship and innovation for me.  Prior to my experience with Nourish, I had never even heard of social innovation; I just wanted to make the world a better place.  After my first Nourish Summer Institute, I discovered a community of like-minded students and professionals that supported and challenged each other.   However, there was also a sense of urgency because we had work to do.  I remember saying the Institute felt like going to Hogwarts: all those unique individuals in the same place not knowing what to expect but making magic happen.

So far, I have been to three Nourish Summer Institutes and each one seems to progress in awesomeness—from the events, to the speakers, to the goals set.  My first Institute taught me about social innovation and introduced me to the Nourish community.  At my second Institute, I learned about the StartingBloc Institute for Social Innovation and received encouragement and support to launch a small Ugandan jewelry sales Venture for my Chapter.  My third Institute, I came back as a Nourish alumnus, StartingBloc Fellow, and small business owner because of the network that Nourish International introduced me to.

Nourish taught me that while innovation takes many forms and is made through a countless number of avenues, the network gained along the way is what makes amazing things happen.  Nourish International, and particularly the Nourish Institute, unites students with an impressive collection of innovators, entrepreneurs, and various other ridiculous and crazy people to make nearly anything possible.

Here’s my challenge:

Reach out.  Take advantage of the network.  Go and make amazing things happen!

– Jen Smith

What Does Social Entrepreneurship Mean to You?

January 9, 2014 | Posted in Alumni Spotlight, Chapter Updates, Nourish Office, Ventures | By

This month our blog series focuses on social entrepreneurship. We’ll discuss Nourish’s approach, Chapter Ventures, and the wider field.

At Nourish International, we believe in empowering students and communities to take action for sustainably ending poverty with the tools of education, intercultural understanding, business, and social enterprise. The tenants of social entrepreneurship are  key components to our approach to Ventures and Projects. Learn more about our model here.

Today we ask our community, what does social entrepreneurship mean to you? 

Nourish International Program Director, Sarah Miller Frazer says, “Social entrepreneurship uses market forces and business practices to create innovative solutions to societal problems.” Sarah believes that social enterprises can be for-profit, non-profit, or hybrid, but ultimately deliver results on a triple bottom line. Learn more about the Triple Bottom Line in this article from the Economist.

“Social entrepreneurs are mad scientists in the lab,” says Pamela Hartigan, director of the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at Oxford University. “They’re harbingers of new ways of doing business (Forbes, 2013).”

Jennifer Smith, a Nourish alumnus from the University of Tennessee says, “Nourish taught me a new way to do business. Previously, I could not understand the personal benefit of running a non-profit, but I knew that the conventional capitalist business ethic was lacking something, as well. Nourish taught me how to form a business that aligns 100 percent with my values. I now know the basics of running a business, where I can benefit while employees, customers, the environment, and the world as a whole also benefit.”Drawing on her Nourish training and experience, Jennifer launched her own business: TradePrints selling handicrafts made by Grassroots Uganda.

Join the discussion! What does social entrepreneurship mean to you?

Comment below, or comment on Facebook and Twitter.

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University of Texas, Hunger Lunch Venture

Nourish is Thankful for the Rice’n Beans Club Alumni!

November 25, 2013 | Posted in Alumni Spotlight, Nourish Office, Office Updates | By

We love our alumni and are forever grateful for the contributions you make everyday. We are especially thankful for those members of the Rice’n Beans Club, the Alumni giving circle that gives $10 or more each month to support the Nourish Network.

This includes:

Tommy and Sindhura Thekkekandam

James Dillard

Joel Thomas

Chaz Littlejohn

Anna Marie Carr

Kaitlin Gregg

Paul Szurek

Felicia Alexander

Kassie Bryan

Tom Meehan

Alex Borgen

Alex Ahearn

John McCreary

We praise you for your amazing generosity and in this season of thankfulness would like to emphasize how grateful we are. You constantly support our organization as we work to give students the resources they need to change the world.

“I give to Nourish because I’ve seen first hand the change that students and communities can create together and I want to be a part of fostering more of that change.” – James Dillard

Click here to join the Rice’n Beans Club. 

It’s the Season of Thankfulness!

November 15, 2013 | Posted in 2013, Alumni Spotlight, Chapter, Chapter Founders, Nourish Office, Student Spotlight, Ventures | By

Last month, we learned how scary poverty can be. We learned how a terrible natural disaster can have devastating effects on impoverished areas across the world. However, we are proud of the entire Nourish community and all that we’ve done, and continue to do, to uplift  communities living in poverty. It is the season of thankfulness and we would like to dedicate these next few posts to those in the Nourish community whom we are truly thankful for.

To our students— You go above and beyond everyday and dedicate your time to the Nourish mission and for that, we thank you.

To our International partners— Your connection to the community gives us the insight into all that we can do to help. We are thankful for your constant dedication and encouragement with our projects.

To our Board of Directors— Your wisdom, experience, and commitment gives us the support we need in order to fulfill our goals. For that, we thank you.

To our Dedicated Friends and Supporters— You give advice, donations, volunteer, and find any way to get involved to help nourish thrive, and for that we thank you.

In our world today 1.29 billion people live on less than $1.25, 884 million people lack access to clean water, 925 million people are malnourished, and 22,000 children die each day due to poverty. We are thankful for your help as we work to improve these statistics and create the possibility of a better world.

Give the Gift of Nourish: Kaitlin Gregg

December 20, 2012 | Posted in 2012, Alumni Spotlight, Nourish Office | By

The holidays are approaching and we all know what that means: scurrying to buy all the right gifts, attending holiday parties, decorating the house and did we mention buying gifts? The holidays are the perfect time to give the very special gift of Nourish to your loved ones. Contributions equip communities with the tools they need to pull themselves out of poverty and shape students into lifelong leaders of change. In spirit of the holiday season, this month we will be featuring some of the generous individuals who decided to Give the Gift of Nourish.

Meet Kaitlin Gregg, a Nourish International Alumni Committee member and UC Davis Chapter Founder, and learn why she Gives the Gift of Nourish:

“I support Nourish International because Nourish has done so much for me personally! Nourish prepared me for a career in the nonprofit sector; every day in my job, I use the communications and management skills I gained while directing the Nourish chapter at UC Davis. Through Nourish, I learned how to lead a team in working to support a cause and developed valuable entrepreneurship skills. My involvement with Nourish is not only one of the most valuable experiences of my undergraduate career, but also one of the most memorable.

Nourish is providing leadership opportunities like these to students across the country. One student at a time, Nourish is effecting positive change. I support Nourish International because I believe in the Nourish movement and am excited to see it grow, one change-maker and one community at a time.”

Thankful for our Alumni

November 9, 2012 | Posted in Alumni Spotlight, Nourish Office | By

Last month, we learned about some of the scary truths that people living in extreme poverty face every day. Whether it is a lack of clean water, food or shelter, issues like these remind us to be thankful of what we have and also motivate us to make an impact in the world. Those involved in Nourish have proven that they just can’t turn a blind eye to some of these frightening statistics.

With Thanksgiving coming up, we want to dedicate this month to those individuals and groups that we are thankful for: our partner organizations, students, alumni, supporters, board of directors and National Office team. We also want this series to be interactive. Nourish community, please comment on blog posts and give your thanks for the different members of the Nourish community!

This week we would like to thank our Alumni. These individuals continue to contribute back to our Chapters, current students and the Nourish movement. Their commitment to the Nourish community shines through at the Summer Institute every year, with 15+ Alumni mentors volunteering their time and bonding with current student leaders. Their support for the movement is evident through their financial support, whether it’s through the Rice’n’Beans giving circle or by hosting a Hunger Lunch with their friends. Their dedication is embodied by the Alumni Committee, a group of five alumni leaders who volunteer their time to lead the alumni community in supporting the movement.

We thank these individuals for their continued commitment to Nourish International. Students and general Nourish community, feel free to comment and say thank you to the Alumni Community!