MPI develops communities of young people by providing them with short- and long-term volunteer service opportunities internationally.
“Love heals.” This is the slogan and root ideal of a local service organization in Nashville, Tennessee with whom I worked during my time at Vanderbilt. By working with this group of women who have been through various forms of abuse, I saw how instilling motivation and hope in others can promote effective positive change. Volunteering with this organization inspired me to pursue a service position after college, and Manna Project International provided a near perfect opportunity. Manna’s mission is “To establish a global network of Manna Project communities where young adults live and work alongside one another in underserved communities to initiate positive change.” Through MPI, I know I will continue to address poverty through education to help teach others essential skills and self-motivation. Starting in July 2012, I will be spending the next year working as a volunteer Program Director with Manna Project International in Managua, Nicaragua.
Spending the year working on behalf of MPI in Nicaragua promises to be a vastly different experience than any other I have had to date. I'm looking forward to immersing myself in the Nica community and improving upon my engineering and Spanish backgrounds while helping to empower others.
Manna Project International was founded in 2004 by Vanderbilt graduates as a student driven, holistic community development 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. For one year my fellow Program Directors and I will work alongside local community members to respond to the community’s needs and build upon its strengths. This means we will be teaching English courses, running literacy programs, homework help, sports, arts and health programs and responding to circumstances as they present themselves. Our goal is to build programs that are holistic, community-inspired and –owned, and ultimately sustainable without outside support.
I specifically am looking forward to working with the Business Development/Microfinance program through which we hope to stimulate economic activity by empowering individuals as well as local small businesses. I am also enthusiastic about the upcoming women's programs at the Nica site, which will focus on instilling a greater education and sense of self-worth in young women. I also hope to coach soccer with my good friend, Kiely Webster, who will be one of my fellow Program Directors!
As one of the Program Directors in Nicaragua, I am responsible for raising $8900. In addition to covering a portion of my living expenses, these funds will be used to provide health, education, finance and sports programming to children and adults in the communities we serve. I am asking you to become a part of our team by supporting me financially through your contributions and personally with your support and encouragement.
All contributions are tax deductible and you will receive a receipt of your support for tax purposes. Also, by checking with your employer about a corporate matching gift program, your donation could go even further.
I strongly believe that each person’s contribution can result in great change, even if it is solely by giving people hope. Hope is such a powerful driving force; my hope is that, through this 13-month position, I will grow very much as a person and touch a few lives along the way. Thank you for your support!