A Better Place

A Better Place

Graduates follow their ideals into the expanding world of organizations dedicated to helping others

By Ruani S. Freeman

Anna Berke '02 remembers a particularly momentous lunch in Dana dining hall. "My friend Alex Suchman suggested that we move to D.C. after graduation. I had never been there, but I wanted to work at a nonprofit so it seemed like a good idea."

Berke was right. Four years later she was heading for Shanghai on behalf of her employer, the Special Olympics. Suchman '02, her friend, is now a policy analyst with the American Public Human Services Association's Center for Workers With Disabilities. They are just two individuals among the 10 percent of Colby alumni who work for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that work in the areas of human rights, judicial equity, reproductive health, social justice, transparency in government, cross-cultural understanding, and philanthropy, among others.

There are good reasons recent college graduates find so much opportunity in the nonprofit world. According to a recent U.S. government analysis of global trends, the number of nonprofits with international affiliations grew twenty-fold between 1964 and 1998, with growth expected to continue through at least 2015.

The human side of those numbers: legions of mostly young, idealistic, globetrotting, multitasking team players who hope that through hard work they can make the world a better place.

From Jennifer Pope '96, who brings reproductive health and HIV/AIDS education to families in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to Tennessee Watson '03, who guides minority youth in Durham, North Carolina, in documenting their stories, these alumni have committed to causes close to their hearts.
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