Santa Clara University

Michelle Maddex

Michelle is a senior Sociology and International Development major who found her passion for Latin America and working for social change while studying abroad in El Salvador. Her time at the Casa de la Solidaridad opened her to a new reality of suffering and poverty yet also of hope and faith. The two combined left her inspired by the people of El Salvador and yearning to learn more about making relationship based social change side by side with the people living this reality. She came home and applied to the Global Social Benefit Fellowship seeing it as the action oriented next step in her academic and vocational journey. After a quarter preparing, she spent six weeks in Paraguay this past summer working with Fundacion Paraguaya's microfinance branch of sustainable development solutions. While there, she was again inspired by the people of Paraguay and was exposed to both the benefits and challenges of microfinance. She further questioned her role as a privileged American woman in a world of suffering and became even more aware of the many different layers of the developing world. Upon returning she found herself highly interested in the relationship and education portion of microfinance along with the poverty impact measurement tools. Her personal research will analyze poverty impact measurement through the lenses of the technical tool itself, facilitation of the tool and cultural sensitivity in creating and facilitating the tool. Upon graduating from SCU Michelle plans to pursue a one or two year service program and is applying for Jesuit Volunteer Corps International, a position with the Casa Educational Network along with various domestic service placements. She feels that this will give her the space to continue to explore her vocation, better understand the needs of the world and specify her interests in order to return to graduate school a couple years down the road. Michelle is incredibly thankful for the opportunities to continue to understand what her major "International Development" truly means through the Global Social Benefit Fellowship and knows it will greatly effect her future path.