GCC Intern Spotlight: Katie Talley
After three years at Virginia Tech, Pennsylvania native and GCC intern Katie Talley found her way to the New York offices of Concern Worldwide. As an International Studies major focusing in Foreign Policy and Global Development; her course work focuses on many of the issues that Concern deals with daily. Her passion for humanitarian and development work–specifically in regards to women’s rights issues–led her to the Concern family.
Not only has Katie been a vital member of the GCC team by developing fundraising and advocacy toolkits as well as manning our social media accounts, but she has also been keenly observing what it takes to expand an organization to the level that Concern operates in. Talley is a active member in the women’s rights organization called FEARless.
“FEARless (Female Education Advocacy Representatives) started as a club on Virginia Tech’s campus in the winter of 2013, inspired by the autobiography of Malala Yousafzai, with the goals to advocate for girls’ educational rights, specifically in the Middle and Far East. Since then, it has grown exponentially. Our focus has broadened from advocacy to actually working to close the education equality gap in impoverished and post-conflict communities all over the world because we believe that women are the key to ending the cycle of poverty.”
“I joined when FEARless was still a club of maybe 5 members, and have had the privilege to see it receive 501c3 non-profit status, fund a scholarship to help a women in Kandahar, Afghanistan finish her business degree, and most recently fund a scholarship for a woman in Zimbabwe start her first year of university.”
She plays a key role in the day to day functionality of FEARless and she believes her time at Concern has equipped her with the tools to expand her organization. According to Talley, a key element for growth within an organization is an efficient infrastructure. She has been able to learn firsthand about procedural operations such as grants, donations, and fundraising. Her goal as Director of External Affairs is to achieve success through these channels.
“As the Director of External Affairs my work entails developing partnerships with other non-profits (like CAMFED and the UN sponsored campaign Girl Up), as well as sponsorships with businesses, and partnerships with schools. I am privileged to this year be sponsored by FEARless on my university’s Homecoming Court, where I am running on the platform “Redefining the Future by Breaking Gender Stereotypes,” in hopes of starting a positive dialogue of gender equality in our own community.”
The main focus of this organization embodies many of the ideals that Concern adheres to. They hope to end poverty through development programs that focus on women’s rights and empowerment. Talley explains,
“Research shows that educating women will not only positively affect her immediate family and community but will even raise the GDP of her country. Whether it be formal education, trade skills, or basic health education, we believe that education is the most sustainable form of development; it gives communities the resources and power to take charge of their own development and economic progress.”
Katie’s dedication and passion has been evident at both Concern Worldwide and FEARless. To learn more about FEARless visit http://fearlessvt.wixsite.com/befearless.
Natasha Malik is a summer intern as Concern Worldwide U.S.