Lindsay Powell ’13, a sociology major, is preparing for a career in international human rights policy. During her time at Wheaton, the Student Government Association president and Posse Scholar has gained a great deal of valuable experience in the ways of the world through her travels.
Good guidance: My advisor Professor Hyun Kim has been pivotal in guiding and supporting my academic career and personal goals on campus and for life after Wheaton. Her class “Conflict and Genocide” opened my eyes. The class thoroughly explored the gross human rights violations that have plagued the past century and examined their causes from a historical, theoretical and political lens. I was amazed by her passion, not only for the subject but also by her belief that we could individually change the course of history by engaging in meaningful human rights work. Since then, she has fueled my passion for international human rights and policy.
Nicaragua experience: I found the opportunity to work abroad for the first time in Nicaragua through the Filene Center, and received funding through summer stipends from the SGA and Posse. I worked in the rural area of Rivas, teaching in Spanish in four underserved public primary schools. This experience really sparked my interest in international travel and cultural exchanges.
Vietnam adventure: For my junior semester abroad, I wanted to go somewhere I wouldn’t be able to travel to in any other part of my life. The Center for Global Education staff suggested Vietnam. I was also curious about how the history and the socialist background created or influenced the construction of Vietnamese identity. As a part of my program, I received an amazing opportunity to do an internship with a human trafficking re-integration shelter, where I shadowed the counselors and interacted with the women. This experience was amazing. I felt like I connected with the women. Hearing their stories of abuse, neglect and ultimately liberation was so humbling.
South Africa service: Last summer, I had an opportunity to intern in Cape Town as a Davis International Fellow. All summer, I worked for a human rights organization called Africa Unite, which spreads awareness of human rights issues as they pertain to refugees and township people, and promotes social cohesion in local communities that are having difficulty resolving them on their own. The wonderful people at Africa Unite immediately allowed me to join their project on gang violence, which is working to examine why township youth are joining gangs. I also created a project called Hear Me that fused together the creative arts and positive self-expression into a two-month project for the afterschool program run in one of the townships.
–Monica Vendituoli ’15