College kid poised to change the world
SUMMIT COUNTY – While many college students may be heading to the beaches or their hometowns for summer jobs, 20-year-old Santa Clara University sophomore Katy Lackey will be off to the impoverished villages of Malawi, a small country in southern Africa.The Summit County local will be spending five weeks from June 24 to Aug. 1 with about 20 volunteers in Africa through World Camp Inc., a nonprofit organization committed to educating children in the world’s impoverished communities.”I think poverty issues are devastating all over the world, and places like Malawi don’t have the means to address them,” Lackey said.Founded in 2000, World Camp travels to Malawi with a team of youth volunteers to conduct three-day educational camps in rural primary schools. World Camp teaches HIV/AIDS prevention, nutrition and environmental awareness.”If you’re going to affect change, you have to start while they’re young to have an effect on their ideals,” she said.
A flyer on campus sparked Lackey’s interest in the World Camp program, but her passion for helping the poverty stricken began in high school at Vail Mountain School, where she studied poverty and homelessness and volunteered at soup kitchens in Denver.Her senior project was studying homelessness in Colorado.”I was really focused on just Denver and Colorado. I had the idea that if I was going to affect change anywhere in world, I had to help local problems first,” Lackey said. “But after going to college, I realized I can’t separate the issues affecting people all over the world.”In college, Lackey got involved in the Santa Clara Community Action Program (SCAP), volunteering with homeless children and delivering food to people with terminal illnesses. Now, she is a program coordinator for SCAP and works with teenagers at a homeless shelter.”I have come to view myself not just as a Colorado resident or an American but as a member of the human family,” Lackey said. “I need to help those near to me and those farther away as well.”
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