Your classes may be over for the summer, but we know your commitment to the fight against poverty never takes a break. Check out this post from Brian Hendershot, Campus Leader at Drury University, as he continues to advocate for the world’s poorest during his summer internship at the Korean American Coalition.
As a ONE Campus Leader at Drury University, I’ve done my fair share of awareness campaigns and recruiting petition signers for the smart development that help lift millions out of poverty. From hosting an educational event on World Water Day to speaking with Presidential Candidates about the importance of good a development strategy, ONE at Drury University is on the front lines in working to rally voices for the voiceless.
While classes are done for the summer, I’m putting my advocacy skills to the test through my internship with the Korean American Coalition (KAC). At KAC, I have been tasked with raising national awareness and support for the North Korean Refugee Adoption Act (NKRAA), primarily in the Midwest. At its heart, the NKRAA would give currently stateless and orphaned children the status and visibility to help them lift themselves out of poverty and achieve the economic self-sufficiency for a brighter future.
If it were not for experience as a ONE Campus Leader, I would find my job insanely intimidating. And while grassroots organizing can always be a challenge, I’m finding that with the advocacy skills I’ve acquired, KAC’s voices are being heard. It’s been amazing hearing that as more signatures and letters come in, more Congressmen and women sign on. In the week that I’ve been here, according to govtrack.us, the chances of this bill being enacted has risen almost 9 percent! It’s great to know that my work at ONE has the same effect. I’m also learning new ways to connect my campus chapter with the broader community. Because of my internship experience, I know that I’ll be a more effective Campus Leader and advocate for the world’s poorest people.
And while I do my part, the people who sign the petition and use their voices are indispensable. It is only when we act as one voice and demand change that we can progress. We must realize that the humanitarian crises that members of ONE and similar organizations combat daily are not limited to their country of origin. They are global issues which can only be fixed when we act as one.
By Brian Hendershot, Drury University