I studied abroad in Panama with SIT during my junior year at Oberlin College. The twenty-four hours we spent on the Comarca Ngobe-Bugle were some of my most memorable from the entire trip. I was immediately welcomed into the community and experienced incredible kindness from my host family — my father made me a nagua (traditional Ngobe dress) for me to take home; my host brother sat me down and taught me a few words of Ngäbere, the local language. At the same time, I also witnessed the most extreme poverty that I have seen in my life.
I left the Comarca incredibly moved, and wanting to do something to fight the inequity that I witnessed. To me, a scholarship program is the best possible answer. It allows children who would otherwise not have the opportunity to reach high school to access this basic education, and directly invests in the well being of the greater community by giving the young people a chance to find work and provide for their families, and spread their knowledge with others.
I graduated from Oberlin College in 2010 with majors in both Environmental Studies and Studio Art. I currently live in Boston and work at WegoWise, a firm that tracks and analyzes building utility use. In my free time, I enjoy playing ultimate Frisbee, cuddling and making masks of dinosaurs.