Owen Foster ’22

Global Livingston Institute, Denver, CO

This summer I worked as a digital intern for the Global Livingston Institute (GLI), an amazing non-profit aiming to rethink how Owen Foster '22 on laptop at a beachthe world views international development while educating students and community leaders. Their marquee project is an annual concert series in East Africa where free contraceptives and HIV tests are distributed to the community. GLI offers immersion trips for college students to the Entusi Resort and Retreat Center in Kabale, Uganda; and as of this year, an online international development training as well. GLI centers all of their work on the mantra: Listen. Think. Act. And they encourage others to do the same!

While my official position title with GLI was “digital intern” I was much more involved than a typical intern might be. Over the course of the summer, I worked on a truly astounding number of projects. I began by producing and editing a video interview series with notable musicians that GLI has formed partnerships through their concerts. Then I organized the “Global Music Power Hour” featuring live performances from musicians around the world. I then took on a series of simultaneous projects, such as laying the groundwork for a new app, writing a report of the GLI’s collaboration with Staffable (workforce accelerator in East Africa working to provide upward mobility and find social good sector companies with high quality employees), assisting in grant writing, helping brand and market the Global Scholars Fellowship Program (a new five-week intensive international development educational experience for college students, graduate students, and career professionals), and creating new marketing packages for the Entusi Resort and Retreat Center.

As I am frequently reminded, I don’t have much time left in college. So, my mind naturally drifts to What am I going to do after I graduate? And truthfully, I don’t know. I could see myself doing a number of things, but throughout all these visions one thing remains constant: I want to help people. I want to make a difference. And for most of my life, I assumed this difference would be in the U.S. I felt as though to truly feel engrossed in my work I had to have a connection to the place where I was working. But my time at GLI has changed this way of thinking. It has opened up a literal world of possibilities. Seeing the good GLI is able to accomplish, connecting to the lives that they have changed, feeling the difference they have made, has assured me that I do have a connection to Uganda. A connection to Rwanda. A connection to the world. So, I still don’t know what I’ll be doing in two years. And now I know even less about where I’ll be doing it. But working for GLI has opened up countless paths. And I can’t wait to take one.