Lauren Schmidt ’16 has received a highly competitive, yearlong Princeton in Africa fellowship. Schmidt, an international political economy major, will be working with the International Rescue Committee in Kampala, Uganda.
Approximately 50 fellows are selected per year for the postgraduate fellowship. The program, which has a strong service and leadership focus, seeks to develop young leaders committed to Africa’s advancement. Applicants must demonstrate their commitment to development in Africa, and fellows are paired with organizations that focus on everything from education and public health to civil advocacy and humanitarian aid.
The organization Schmidt will be working with, the International Rescue Committee (IRC), is one of the largest humanitarian agencies in the world, providing relief, rehabilitation, and post-conflict reconstruction support to victims of oppression and violent conflict. IRC has been active for seven decades and is involved in more than 25 conflict zones in the world. They address both the immediate, life-saving needs of conflict-affected people in an emergency and the reconstruction needs in post-conflict societies.
“The IRC has always been my dream organization to work for,” says Schmidt. “I can't believe I will be able to actualize what seemed like such a lofty goal following graduation.” Schmidt also has worked with the Red Cross in Uganda and on development projects in Nepal.
Schmidt becomes the second Colorado College student to receive the prestigious fellowship. Anu Atre ’13, who graduated with a degree in sociology and minor in non-violence, was a Princeton in Africa fellow in 2014-15, working in Ethiopia.
Princeton in Africa was founded in 1999, and has placed nearly 450 fellows in the field in 36 countries.