As 2017 begins, the United States and our global community are undergoing significant changes. And, while the new year is always a time for reflection, reset, goals, and new routines, this year is coupled with political transition as well.
The election season, regardless of how we voted, shocked many of us to our core and has brought to light a divisiveness that needs addressing.
DATE OF MEETING: November 15, 2016
IN ATTENDANCE: Becky Bond, Amanda Carr, Nick Collins, Erin East, Sarah Ganassa, Rachel Hemmerstein, Prarthana Kotagiri, Kate Mitchell, Earl Pearson, Aubrey Redd, Connor Spahn, Aisha White
ABSENT: Amanda Salguero, Kristin Walter
This post is the first in a three-part series of reflections from Lauren Taber (UCSB ‘17) and Ashwini Bhide (UC Berkeley ‘14). In August 2015, the two embarked on an investor trip to Ghana with The Hunger Project, one of our Commitment 2030 Fund partners. They were selected as representatives of our movement because of demonstrated leadership locally and nationally. This blog series is a reflection on their experiences.
To be sure, the mission of The Hunger Project is diverse and expansive, but right in its name lies an issue that is close to the heart of the organization, and to that of the FeelGood movement: hunger.
I had been hearing Big Cheese legends for years, before I went for my first time this summer. When I would ask my now fiancé, Connor Spahn, how everything was going up there in the Colorado mountains, he would enthusiastically shout (because the cell service was so patchy) a lot of details that didn’t really make sense to me at the time (e.g. “I just wrote 100 gratitude notes,” “We need to become vegetarian,” “Pong is dressed up like a wizard,” and so on). Sometimes I’d make out more profound descriptions, like “I’m so inspired,” “Everyone is incredible,” “This is life-changing.” But always, enunciating loud and clear, he’d repeat: “You just have to come!”
Dear FeelGooders, Class of 2015:
You made it! Whether you graduated three weeks ago, or are still a couple weeks away from walking, here you are. Standing on the end of one incredible chapter of your life, and at the beginning of the next, unknown chapter.
You’ll be receiving countless of these messages this season. And we’re not here to be redundant.
But what’s most special about your college experience (well, we think so) is that you are a part of a national and global movement to end extreme poverty by 2030. WOWZA!! As you sit in your graduation ceremony, walk across the stage, take photos, and enjoy celebrations – hold this. YOU have been a part of this powerful movement, and it wouldn’t be the same without you.
At The Hunger Project’s Annual Fall Gala on October 18 there will be a special focus on youth mobilization and empowering young leaders. Rightly so, there will be a number of young leaders speaking from partner countries. One of these youth representatives is our very own Chris Joy, an alumni from the University of Vermont and former leader at the UVM chapter. Throughout the weekend, Chris will represent all of the FeelGood students who have mobilized over $1.6 million for the end of hunger since 2005. Chris be playing a key role in bringing the youth voice to meetings with THP investors and staff throughout the weekend. He’ll also be presenting at the Gala! We’re so lucky to have Chris be a part of this movement and a passionate representative for youth changemakers around the globe stepping up for the end of hunger.