John Torrey, from Hanover, New Hampshire, is a Religion major, with a certificate in Global Health Policy and a strong academic record. He has spent considerable time volunteering in Tanzania to help women living with HIV/AIDS.
John wants to carry forward the peer education program on teenage pregnancy started by Fatu Conteh and Katie Hsih (our current Fellows) for Global Action Foundation (GAF) in the Kono District of Sierra Leone – evaluating its outcomes, refining its methodology, and broadening its scope throughout the District. Fatu and Katie have broken the ground here, but won’t have enough time to evaluate its impact, which is essential for such a health intervention. John says he will “take the peer education program from wherever they leave it and evaluate, add to, and expand on the hard work they have put in.”
GAF is scaling up its HIV/AIDS home-based care program, and John will also be
involved in delivery essential administrative support to this program, as well as coupling it with the pregnancy education outreach.
Dr. Dan Kelley ’03, the Executive Director of GAF, says “We envision this program achieving its goals of reducing teenage pregnancy rates and maternal mortality in one of the world’s poorest countries. With the help of Princeton ReachOut 1956
International Fellowship, we are one step closer to developing a scalable model that has the potential for national roll out to secondary schools. I believe that with John Torrey, we would be able to reach this goal by the end of his international fellowship.”
Class of 2010
This summer, three of Princeton’s programs will send up to 20 students to GAF in Sierra Leone as summer interns. Managing this is another administrative task borne by the ReachOut Fellows, and John’s project will further GAF’s budding relationship with the University. John says: “As a beacon and hope and empowerment in the lives of the world’s most utterly vulnerable and desperate people, GAF is an organization well worth investing in.”
The chair of Princeton’s Center for African-American Studies calls John Torrey “a wonderful student with a remarkable combination of intelligence and public concern… truly an impressive young man.” He goes on to say that John’s work “reveals an earnestness that is rare in these times. Moreover he is truly dedicated to make a substantive difference in this world. And this desire springs from the most genuine of concern for others.” Another of his teachers says this about him: “A deeply intelligent, hard-working and accomplished student, John has a sophisticated and compassionate moral sensibility and a strong commitment to social justice, equity and positive social change through public service. He is certain to make ground-breaking contributions to the fields of global health, international aid and development, and public policy in the course of his academic and professional career.”
John told us recently: “I am deeply grateful to have the opportunity that the ReachOut Fellowship will afford me. It is rare, coming out an undergraduate education, to be able to spend a year deeply immersed in the on-the-ground realities of a global health operation while pursuing significant administrative responsibilities. From what I have learned speaking with other Princeton students about GAF and from my experiences in Tanzania, I know I will learn an enormous amount next year that will be of great value to me for the rest of my life.
“While I cannot know what local realities I will discover when I arrive in Koidu, from the moment get there I will strive to determine the best ways I can work within them to help some of the town’s most vulnerable residents. I cannot think of an experience that will better prepare me for the career I intend to pursue in global development policy. This process of learning about local realities and working hard to make a difference within them is not something that everyone in global development has gone through and will lend me an invaluable perspective that will last with me my entire life.
“I feel immensely fortunate to have the opportunity to spend next year pursuing a project of my own design that will enable me to serve, to learn, and to grow as a person. It will help to mold me into more of a “citizen of the world” with a greatly enriched
understanding of the kinds of harsh and complicated realities faced by so many of my fellow global citizens and of the potential I have to work in my life to alleviate them.
“It is fantastic that ReachOut has added the international fellowship, and I am proud to be among the second recipients of it. In today’s increasingly globalizing world, it is essential for universities like Princeton to be producing international public servants
alongside domestic ones. I look forward to remaining connected to ReachOut after my fellowship is complete and to participating in the award’s continuous investment in the lives of publicly conscious Princeton graduates.”