Alumna explores service to others on an international scale
Lindsey Allen ‘16 expands her work with marginalized communities through a $30,000 grant from the Rotary Foundation.
Former Global Social Benefit Fellow and Fulbright Scholar Lindsey Allen ’16 is off to the London School of Economics and Political Science to continue her academic and international work, thanks to a $30,000 global grant scholarship from the Rotary Foundation.
Rotary global grants support large international activities with sustainable, measurable outcomes in areas of focus for the Rotary Foundation. Allen’s scholarship will pay for her studies at the program in London, where she will pursue a master’s in environment and development.
At Santa Clara University, Allen minored in communication and Arabic, Islamic, and Middle Eastern Studies. She traveled to Tanzania and Uganda as a Global Social Benefit Fellow (GSBF), where over the course of two months, she visited 15 East African villages investigating the social impact of Solar Sister, a clean-energy women’s empowerment enterprise. Allen also took part in Model United Nations, a program in which students learn about diplomacy, international relations, and simulate UN committees. She studied abroad in Rabat, Morocco, conducting field research that earned her first place in SCU’s Study Abroad Undergraduate Research Award program.
In 2016, Allen received a Fulbright scholarship, which took her back to Morocco to create a study of social entrepreneurship as an economic growth strategy and as a way to develop “human capital” for social change. Her work sought to overcome gaps in understanding between Moroccan entrepreneurs, policymakers, and academia. During her time in Morocco, she also helped lead a three-day “boost” program provided by Miller Center leaders for social entrepreneurs in the region.
Since wrapping up her Fulbright in 2017, Allen has been working directly with agricultural social enterprises based in Ghana and Cameroon. The experience included collaborating with sustainability executives from organizations that are sourcing food products from Africa, and learning about the real-time effects of supply-chain bottlenecks on local farming communities.
“I began to realize that many of the development challenges I witnessed while working in emerging markets were rooted in the vulnerabilities that exist in local food systems,” says Allen. “When there is a strong network of food and agricultural opportunity, there is less migration, more rural opportunity, and that reinforces economic power.”
The SCU alumna traveled recently to Dubai for Expo2020, where she helped pitch a company she had worked with in Cameroon to win a $100,000 business-expansion grant.
Allen says service to others and working with marginalized communities has “always been part of the fabric of my family.” SCU’s Jesuit emphasis on compassion for others manifested in her classes, extracurricular activities, and opportunities such as GSBF, she adds, “is what pushed me to explore this on an international scale.”
About the Rotary Foundation
The Rotary Foundation is a non-profit corporation that supports the efforts of Rotary International to achieve world understanding and peace through international humanitarian, educational, and cultural exchange programs. Rotary scholars strive to make a difference in economic and community development.