MANDELA WASHINGTON FELLOWSHIP INTERNSHIP PROVIDES LEADERSHIP AND CULTURAL GROWTH
During the summer of 2022, Holly Shaver (Agrimarketing; Crawfordsville, IN) interned with the International Programs in Agriculture (IPIA) office which led her to an extended internship throughout the school year. Her primary project became the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders (MWF). MWF is the flagship program of the U.S. Government’s Young African Leaders Initiative and brings leaders from Sub-Saharan African countries to universities all over the U.S. for academic and leadership training. Purdue was one of the participating universities.
Prior to the arrival of the fellows, the IPIA team that Holly was a part of spent weeks planning and creating a schedule for them to allow for them to experience a variety of agricultural business practices. During their 6-week program focused on agribusiness, the 25 Young African Leaders between the ages of 25 and 30 learned at Purdue and took trips. One time they took an overnight trip to Chicago where they toured several businesses like BioTown Ag and The Plant, businesses that were focused on a closed loop system of agriculture with the purpose of minimizing waste.
Holly’s role with the fellows was to support them during their time abroad. She did this by answering questions they had about US culture, organizing their educational sessions, and planning tours relevant to their learning. She said, “Working with the Mandela Washington Fellows was a great experience where I think I learned just as much from the fellows as they did from me. It created a great opportunity for cultural exchange and some lifelong friendships.”