West Virginia Wesleyan sophomore exercise science major Jessica Walter, of British Columbia, Canada, is one of 50 students chosen from across the United States to participate in the OxFam America Change Initiative at Boston later this month.
Oxfam is an international relief and development organization. The weeklong program in Boston will focus on developing young leaders who are passionate about social justice and inspiring global awareness in others.
Throughout the week, Walter will undergo rigorous leadership training, which includes expert panels, team building, multimedia workshops, group activities and more. Walter said she will be introduced to the latest model of social change.
"Knowing that I am soon to have a strong network of like-minded individuals for support and advice is exciting," Walter said. "I truly believe that knowledge is power and that during the Change program I will be equipped with valuable information that can in turn become a powerful tool for sparking change."
When she returns to Wesleyan in the fall, Walter will be a co-leader of the College's Social Justice League. Walter plans to bring OxFam America awareness and action campaigns back to the Wesleyan community and create a network with other schools and inspire greater awareness and action.
"At the conference, I hope to learn about how to approach social justice issues in ways that will make a difference today and in the future," she said. "I want to learn how to effectively share information about poverty, sustainability, child soldiers, lack of education, and more; and, inspire those around me to make a difference - even if it is small."
Walter is a member of the Wesleyan women's soccer team and an active member of in campus WE LEAD organizations Eco and Sustainability, Children and Youth, and Health and Wellness.
More information about the CHANGE Initiative is available by visiting Oxfam America's website at www.oxfamamerica.org.