This time four years ago, graduation was quickly approaching and I still was a bit unsure of what was next. I had spent the last four years studying Linguistics and Religious Studies at the University of Virginia, however I had learned more from my time with a student organization called Building Tomorrow than I did from my classes (sorry Dad!).
I remember telling George that I was â€œstubbornly committedâ€ to coming to Indianapolis to work for Building Tomorrow any way I could and was invited first to be a Fundraising and Events Intern. Over the next four years, I was granted the privilege of working alongside BTâ€™s staff, learning numerous invaluable skills and having many life-changing experiences.
My time at Building Tomorrow will end next week as I have accepted a job with Princeton in Africa as the Program Manager. I am looking forward to working with their team, providing support for their fellowship program which coordinates young leaders to work with 25 organizations in 15 countries across the African continent.
In looking back over my time here, itâ€™s interesting to remember that my passion for Building Tomorrowâ€™s work started with its location, Uganda. Having traveled there, I knew of the need and thought that Building Tomorrow was providing communities with the opportunity to help themselves. As a staff member, I delved more and more into the issues surrounding the Global Education Crisis and how worldwide there were children who were being denied their basic right: access to education.
However, even to the rest of the staff, my true passion became clear: helping young people make a real impact on the global issues they care so much about. This is partially what led to transitioning into the role of Millennial Motivator two years ago.
When I traveled to college campuses, speaking to students about Building Tomorrowâ€™s work, I often told them about my personal experience with what I typically label â€œthe world sucks and I donâ€™t know what to do about itâ€ problem. There are so many issues it can be overwhelming. But young people today, I believe, are the most passionate generation when it comes to innovating solutions for these problems. My message to them has always been, â€œYou have the potential to make a real impactâ€ pointing to Building Tomorrow as a great avenue to do so.
My most satisfying moments in working with Building Tomorrow have always been helping students envision and execute their plans to raise funds or awareness for the education crisis.
As I look to whatâ€™s next, I will forever be indebted to Building Tomorrow – not only for the ridiculously long list of things I learned in the office, but also for allowing me to discover and expand my passion for empowering young people to invest their time, talents and resources in making the world a better place.
With my last official day at Building Tomorrow quickly approaching, all I can say now is â€œTunaalabaganaâ€ – See you later. When traveling to Bugabo, Uganda with chapter members last year, we typically chose this mouthful of a word over Goodbye with the hopes that the relationships we had built would always be there. While Iâ€™m moving on from being an official member of the BT Team, I know that I will always be connected to the organization and I look forward to watching as Building Tomorrow continues to grow.
PS – On a final note, here’s my favorite photo from the past four years… Enjoy!
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