Economic development is the solution to many hurdles in Third World countries, including improved education, prevention of diseases, and many other issues that are difficult to solve or prevent, such as human trafficking. My general long-term goal is to start a sustainable non-profit that will improve the lives of others. As I traveled to developing countries and saw the great need for aid, my interests became focused on empowering locals of developing countries, specifically in rural areas.
My inspiration to become a Kiva Fellow stems from the cycle of development. I am persistent about solving issues such as healthcare and child abuse; however, I see economic development provided by access to capital the most sustainable solution to many of the issues that impoverished countries face. Although other important causes, such as education, also deserve funds and assistance, I believe education can be achieved by providing the resources necessary for families to make a healthy income and thus attain the potential to provide such services.
I come from a middle class immigrant family in California – however, my parents spent every dime they had on my education and health. We didn’t have money for much else and though I despised wearing hand-me-downs through high school, I look back and feel indebted to the dedication my parents had to provide me with the best resources possible. I was similarly fortunate because when I couldn’t afford to attend college, UCLA offered me a full-tuition merit-based scholarship that allowed me to attend. I have been given opportunities my entire life and I want to give others the same opportunities I was fortunate to receive.
Beyond my passion for going to SE Asia to volunteer in microfinance, Kiva as an organization has been a pioneer in its field, allowing thousands of people globally to have access to capital. Moreover, it has encouraged microfinance all over the world and given the ability for overseas partners to launch successful and sustainable programs. I am interested in better understanding how these partnerships are built and what gaps still exist in the system. Being a Kiva fellow would provide me with the opportunity to not only give back to the community but progress myself as a leader, improve my network of similarly socially-minded volunteers, and build confidence to making wide leaps in social impact both nationally and abroad.