graduate Julia Carter will head to a small village in the state of Bahia, Brazil, where she will spend nine months helping impoverished local children as a Global Citizen Year Fellow.
Julia has accepted a coveted Global Citizen Year Fellowship, a “gap year” program of service learning and leadership training conducted in Africa, Latin America, and Asia. “It’s similar to the Peace Corps,” Carter said in a statement, “in that it provides an opportunity to go abroad, make a difference in the world, and develop cultural awareness.”
For Carter, the coming year will be a continuation of international service she began this year with a four-month trip to Guatemala, Panama, and Brazil with her brother Adam Carter, founder of the Cause and Affect Foundation, an organization devoted to alleviating global poverty through microphilanthropy.
Selling handmade embroidery bracelets, Carter raised $1,200 to sponsor two babies in Guatemala for cleft palate surgery, contribute to a new house for a poor family in rural Guatemala, and buy supplies for a single mother in Brazil whose house had burned down.
“My trip with Adam taught me just how easy it is to give back,” Carter says. “I helped change the lives of many people, but they also helped change mine. I saw a new level of passion and kindness that I never knew existed.”
To earn the Global Citizen Year Fellowship, she went through a rigorous, multi-part application and interview process. After a two-week orientation at Stanford University, she will depart the U.S. “I am going to spend my Global Citizen Year in the beautiful country of Brazil,” she explains. “I will stay with a Brazilian family and assist organizations with a focus on child development— similar to what I did on my previous trip.”
Carter’s social conscience and interest in helping are a family tradition. In addition to her brother Adam’s philanthropic activities, her sister Emily Carter is a marine biologist working on saving sharks and coral reefs. And in May, 2012, her father Allan Carter received the Inaugural Volunteer of the Year Award from DuPage PADS, where he has volunteered for more than ten years.
Allan Carter said his daughter has, “a great deal of compassion and has always been interested in helping. As a small child in the religious school of Congregation Etz Chaim of DuPage County, she learned about the value of “Tikkun Olam” (‘Repairing the World”). She learned that everybody can do something to help.”
As a Global Citizen Year Fellow, Carter has committed to raising $2,500 this summer for the Global Citizen Year Fellow fund, the source of scholarships and financial aid enabling students to take part in the program. She also has committed to recruiting 50 subscribers to a blog she will post throughout her trip.
“I believe that the world is in need of more leaders, pro-active leaders who are able to look at impoverished communities and see hope and a chance to give back,” carter said. “I have been given this amazing opportunity, and I hope to share my experience with all who are interested. Anyone who wants to support the Global Citizen Year Fellow fund can make a secure online donation at https://globalcitizenyear.secure.nonprofitsoapbox.com/donate.”
To subscribe to Julia’s blog, go to http://globalcitizenyear.org/fellows/meet/ or email her at julia.carter333@ yahoo.com.
Information courtesy of a press release.