Well friends, I am Savannah. I value life and the people (& dogs) in mine. I studied psychology and education at Belmont University. I feel most alive when the sun is out, the trees are green, and my hands are dirty. Everyday I continue learning the importance of gracefully and humbly walking on this earth that I share with so many others.
I have a deep concern for girls’ rights and gender-related issues. Much of my advocacy, research, and academic efforts up to this point have surrounded that central theme. Throughout college I have had internships and volunteer opportunities with programs that serve youth who are immigrants, refugees, or from low socioeconomic communities. In these settings I was able to mentor and tutor young women and girls from various backgrounds. As a youth advocate for the Global Campaign for Education – US Chapter, I received a grant to host Belmont’s 1st annual International Day of the Girl Campaign last October. The campaign provided opportunity for open discussion and observation of the unique barriers women and girls face both internationally and domestically.
My Lumos project is located in Muhuru, Kenya, which is located off the coast of Lake Victoria. I will be living at the Women’s Institute for Secondary Education and Research (WISER). WISER is an all-girls secondary school that seeks to improve the health, education, and economic outcomes for young women in the Muhuru Bay community. My project is specifically researching how social emotional education correlates with empowerment.
Hopefully this blog will be a place for questions, for conversation, and for growth. Conversations surrounding access to education, global health, and gender-issues need to take place. We need to talk about girls’ rights. We need to observe the unique barriers girls face around the world. Doors opened that provided me the resources and connections to do this project, but this project is not about me or my passions. It is about the greater story that is unfolding around the world for young women and for girls.
After my time in Kenya, I hope to attend graduate school for counseling or clinical psychology and continue to work with young women. My interest in focusing my career on women’s issues and empowerment is two-fold. I have an intrinsic desire to advocate for and serve young women that is combined with a clear understanding of the international and domestic development needs that correlate with women’s empowerment and access to proper resources.