Although I’m working from Rochester, NY, I could not be more excited to join ATMA SEVA as a Research Intern! I’ve only been a part of the team for a few weeks now, but I’m already learning so much about the hill tribes in Northern Thailand and the work that ATMA SEVA does there. I hope to go to Chiang Mai in the near future to meet everyone in person and see what I’ve been helping with!
A little background about me: I recently graduated from Colgate University in May 2012. Although I graduated with a degree in Classical Studies and a minor in Political Science, I plan on pursuing a career in international development. I had somewhat of an epiphany my junior year while I was studying abroad for a semester in Cape Town, South Africa. It’s one thing to learn about the legacy of apartheid and the economic disparity in South Africa in a classroom; it’s another thing to live there and see the effects everyday. It was both fascinating and disturbing to study and see the socioeconomic conditions in this beautiful country, and my experiences there completely changed my worldview. Ultimately, I decided to study African politics when I returned to Colgate and to work towards a career in international development and non-profit work.
Since graduating, I have been interning/volunteering at a refugee center here in Rochester called Mary’s Place Outreach. We aid refugees from Burma, Thailand, Nepal, and numerous African countries. Most of my work there has involved education: tutoring, helping teach ESL classes, and helping kids with homework after school. I am also in the process of trying to develop a Saturday science discovery program for the kids there. I have really enjoyed getting to know the refugees and especially spending time with the kids!
I am in the process of trying to decide whether I will apply to law school (for International Human Rights Law) or to a masters program for International Development. I’m not sure what path I’ll take, but I’m looking forward to getting started. As of now, though, I’m so happy to have the opportunity to be involved with ATMA SEVA, and I’m excited to see what the next few months will bring as I work with this incredible organization!