Rachel Park is an international studies major at Arcadia University in Glenside, Pa. Her passion for helping others has earned her an internship with the Borgen Project, a nonprofit dedicated to eradicating hunger and poverty around the world.
As an international affairs intern, Park develops small lobbying efforts and supports larger campaigns, including meeting with elected officials. She has met with the office of Pennsylvania Congressman Brendan Boyle to discuss his vote for the Food for Peace Modernization Act, which would create a more efficient process for the Food for Peace program and help the United States Agency for International Development feed nearly 9 million more people by making $275 million available that is currently spent on transportation and overhead costs.
"In today’s political and social environment, it’s easy to feel discouraged,” Park said, in a news release. "But the Borgen Project started with one person who had limited resources, and now look where it’s at. It’s empowering me and others to create change.”
Next, she hopes to meet with U.S. Sen. Jim Risch of Idaho, chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, to discuss his views on global poverty and the Food for Peace Modernization Act.
"You feel like you’re making a difference,” Park said. “I believe that we should help people because we can — it’s ridiculous that I have to make arguments about how (feeding people) is a good thing for the United States to do. We should help people because we have the ability to do it.”
Park hopes to use this experience to work for a nonprofit organization or diplomatic agency after she graduates in 2021.
Based in Seattle, the Borgen Project campaigns to make global poverty a focus of U.S. foreign affairs. It was founded by Clint Borgen after his time as a refugee camp volunteer during the Kosovo War. He recognized the need for an organization that could focus U.S. political attention on extreme poverty and began the Borgen Project in 2003.