Change Yourself…Change The World


Change the World Goals

My ‘Professional’ Goals are objectives I’ve established from perspectives I acquired while traveling. These professional goals grew innately from my curiosity and exploration of development to look at the most effective ways that I can ‘Change the World.’

These goals are a bit different from my ‘Travel’ Goals, as they’re in consecutive order, and utilize traveling in a different way.

And keep in mind that ALL of this would not have been possible without my inaugural initiation of traveling in the RIGHT way with Carpe Diem! If you are looking to be inspired, apply for a gap semester or year-long program with them. It will be the best decision of your life (and no, I do not work or advertise for them, this statement is 100% authentic. I seriously think they are one of the best organizations in the world)!

1. Goal One: Attend Global College

Status: Finished

Apply to Global College

Global College is the only institution in the world where students can base 3.5 years of their residency abroad. Global College currently has centers in Costa Rica, India, China, Australia, and New York.

Immediately after I finished traveling in India for the first time, I knew that I wanted to attend Global College, where I would have the opportunity to travel around the world for my undergraduate degree. I chose this school because of it’s uniqueness and dedication to ‘taking your education into your own hands,’ or experiential learning. I also chose to go here because I knew that if I continued traveling and learning more about myself, that I would be going down the right path- even if I didn’t know at the time where I would end up. I was right. I attended Global College from September 2008 until my graduation in May 2010.

While I was in Global College’s CRC program (in my opinion, the best program Global College offers), I was inspired to learn more about micro-finance, and read Muhammad Yunus’s ‘Banker to the Poor.’ This ultimately led me to my next goal: to work with Grameen Bank.

2. Goal Two: Intern at Grameen Bank

Status: Finished

Apply for an internship at Grameen Bank

Grameen Bank is known as ‘the grandfather of all micro-finance institutions.’ The founder, Muhammad Yunus, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for Grameen Bank’s ground-breaking ideas on micro-finance, which has lifted millions out of poverty in Bangladesh.

While attending Global College’s Comparative Religion and Culture program in Thailand, I had a very significant experience working with Burmese refugees on the border of Burma and Thailand (read about it here). When brainstorming different ways that the community could help themselves, my friend suggested micro-finance. I then returned to Chiang Mai and found Muhammad Yunus’s book ‘Banker to the Poor,’ which details his successes of Grameen Bank. It was then my immediate goal to intern with them over the summer in Bangladesh, which I did from June-July 2009. I learned a lot about micro-finance and poverty alleviation at Grameen Bank, and came away from the experience with a high interest in international development.

You can read about my experiences with Grameen Bank in these posts (Alternatively, you could go through the Bangladesh Category and scroll down for the posts):

What is Going On in Bangladesh??

Grameen Bank

Grameen Bank the Second

Grameen Solutions

Why is Everything Going My Way?

SYSTEM OVERLOAD!

Best Summer of my Life.

A Bit About Bangladesh- Part Two

What To Do When You Meet Muhammad Yunus

Pictures of Bangladesh and Grameen Bank can be found here.

Interning with Grameen Bank inspired me to want to work with Fundación Paraguaya.

3. Goal Three: Intern at Fundación Paraguaya

Status: Finished

Apply for an internship with Fundación Paraguaya

Fundación Paraguay is an NGO in Paraguay that promotes entrepreneurship through their self-sustainable agricultural school, their junior achievement program, and the largest part of their organization, the micro-finance department. Fundación Paraguaya is also one of the top-rated  field partners of Kiva.

My internship with Grameen Bank was the perfect introduction to micro-finance, but it was only skin-deep. I had nothing to compare it to, and not enough intensive field experience to understand how effective it really was. I had an independent study semester at Global College coming up, where I was to design my own research project in a country of my choosing, and I really wanted to go to South America. A friend and intern at Grameen Bank suggested Fundación Paraguaya, a micro-finance institution in Paraguay. And so my next goal became interning with Fundación Paraguaya, which I carried out from September to November 2009. I worked in the Kiva department, meeting borrowers and examining micro-finance on a much more intimate level.

You can read about my experiences with Fundación Paraguaya in these posts:

Why Is Everything Going My Way?

A Little Bit About the Next Four Months

Paraguayan Culture

The Agricultural School

The Most Ridiculous Travel Story.

Where Do I Begin…

Pictures of Paraguay and Fundación Paraguaya can be found here.

Videos of me interviewing Kiva borrowers in Paraguay can be found here.

My experiences with Fundación Paraguaya ultimately led me to Acumen Fund!

4. Goal Four: Volunteer at Acumen Fund

Status: Finished

Get Involved with Acumen Fund

Acumen Fund is a non-profit global venture fund geared at alleviating poverty. They invest in companies in developing countries that are creating scalable social change in their own communities. Acumen Fund invests in 35 enterprises, with offices in East Africa, Pakistan, India, and New York.

After my internship with Fundación Paraguaya, I realized that micro-finance was not the be-all-end-all solution to ending poverty, and I came away feeling a bit disillusioned. My Dad promptly found an article in the New York Times about Jacqueline Novogratz, founder and CEO of Acumen Fund, and bought me her book, The Blue Sweater for Christmas. The book was everything I had been looking for, and I was so inspired by her story that I valiantly started looking for any way to work with them in some way. From January to May 2010, I started volunteering for the New York office as an administrator to Acumen Fund’s online community, and progressed to doing outreach for ‘The Blue Sweater’ and became actively involved with New York for Acumen.

You can read about my experiences with Acumen Fund in these posts:

Acumen Fund *spark! Event

Acumen Fund’s blog

I also did a bit of guest blogging for Acumen Fund on their own blog. These posts are:

Ideas that Spread, Win! Highlights from Unite for Sight

A Note from an Acumen Fund Volunteer

5. Goal Five: Do a fellowship with Kiva

Status: Finished

Apply to be a Kiva Fellow

Kiva is the world’s first online micro-lending website, and its mission is to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. As of November 2008, Kiva has facilitated over $100 million in loans, and partners with micro-finance institutions all over the world. Learn more about how How Kiva Works.

I first heard about Kiva through a friend, but I became very intrigued with the organization after working in Fundación Paraguaya’s Kiva department. I found myself wanting to work with Kiva because of their reputation across the globe for partnering with fantastic micro-finance institutions, and of the great work the fellows were doing in the field. I decided to apply for a fellowship with Kiva to have an opportunity to learn more about the financial side of micro-finance, and to learn how it functions in Africa. I was stationed in Nairobi, Kenya during my fellowship, which was August-October 2010. My fellowship was with Faulu Kenya, one of the largest micro-finance institutions in the country.

You can read about my experiences as a Kiva Fellow in these posts:

The Next Year of My Life

Kenya!

Kiva! Your pre-training is amazing

On to San Francisco

Next Phase of My Life In One Word: Awesome.

Kiva Love

The First Kiva Blog Post Is Finally Here!

My Stint In A Nairobi Hospital: New Kiva Blog Post

How To Listen More In Africa

Mombasa

Goodbye Africa

You can also read about ALL of the Kiva Fellows’ journeys on the Kiva Fellows Blog!

6. Goal Six: Join the Peace Corps

Status: In progress! I am currently a Peace Corps Volunteer until August 2013.

Apply to the Peace Corps

The Peace Corps is a division of the United States government, and a 27-month commitment where volunteers serve their country in the cause of peace, by living and working in developing countries. Established in 1961, nearly 200,000 Peace Corps volunteers have served in 139 host countries. The Peace Corps is an intense commitment, but ‘the toughest job you’ll ever love.’

The Peace Corps is a goal I have had for the past three years, since the start of my travels. I applied to the Peace Corps in July 2009- then I have been nominated to Latin America in March 2010- and finally I was invited to serve as a Community Economic Development Volunteer in Paraguay for May 2011! After two months of training, I am now a Peace Corps Volunteer based in Caazapá, Paraguay.

You can read about my experiences with the beginning process of the Peace Corps in these posts:

The Next Step

It’s Official

The Next Year of my Life

Oh Boy

Here We Go!!!!

Brittany Boroian. Peace Corps Volunteer 2011-2013.

So You’re Going To Paraguay.

For posts about my life as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Paraguay, you can scroll through the Paraguay category.

7. Goal Seven: Get an M.B.A.

Status: Pending

Through all of my travels and experience in business development, I have decided that an MBA is the best choice for a graduate school degree. I plan on focusing on social entrepreneurship and emerging markets. I would like to get an MBA after I finish the Peace Corps. Stay tuned!

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