VWS: Tell me about your work and education after graduating from the VWS.
KRB: After I graduated from high school, I spent the summer in Europe and then began university in September at Capilano University. I loved Cap and it was the perfect transition place for me to further explore my interests in the Social Sciences. In my second year, I discovered my love for Anthropology. I continued to pursue this discipline at Concordia University in Montreal where I fell in love with the city, culture and the freedom of living on my own. I spent three years working towards my BA in Anthropology with a minor in Diversity and the Contemporary World, which covered a wide range of historical, as well as political and environmental issues. I loved it. Upon graduation, I went through a three-month period of, “I have just graduated and I have no idea what I am going to do”! The panic stage passed and I occupied my time with graduate study applications. I worked part-time as a Youth Coordinator for underprivileged children where I organized and ran weekly cooking workshops. Once my time in Montreal came to an end, I moved back to Vancouver for a brief time and upon my acceptance to Kings College, I moved to London, England in late July of last year. Over the summer I worked as an intern at a charity called ABC Trust (Action for Brazil’s Children) where I was an assistant to both the Project Manager as well as the Fundraising Officer.
VWS: What kind of work/study are you involved in now?
KRB: I am currently in the midst of my Master’s program in International Development and am looking specifically at emerging economies and inclusive development. I have finished with my lectures and seminars and I am now embarking on the dreaded (although I am excited) dissertation that will take up the majority of my summer. I recently found out that I will have the pleasure of working with Save the Children UK (an international NGO), where I will be conducting research for them, which will provide them with information on social protection systems and nutrition policy in Latin America. More specifically, I hope to explore the political/institutional approach that national governments take to incorporate nutrition sensitive interventions into social protection schemes. I am looking forward to seeing what the future holds, and will continue to juggle my time between work and play. London is one the most dynamic and exciting places I have ever lived. Never a dull moment! After completing my MA in International Development at Kings College in 2015, I decided to try my luck at working in London.
I landed a temp gig at a reputable organization called Community Development Foundation and then landed an internship with Action Against Hunger (as an Advocacy Intern) and Unilever (as a Social Impact Intern). It was interesting to work for both an international charity and corporation simultaneously. It gave me great perspective and experience. During my time in London, I had the opportunity to go and work in Peru for a small local NGO in Trujillo. It was a difficult decision but in the end, I decided to take the plunge and I moved to Trujillo last September. Life in Trujillo was filled with uncertainty, change and whole other range of emotions, but I am grateful for the experience because it also exposed me to a rich culture, history and most of all, delicious food. While I was there I started a small NGO called Earth Peru that works to incorporate environmental education to schools in impoverished areas within the city.
VWS: What advice would you give to this year’s graduates?
KRB: The past few years have been extremely hectic, challenging, exciting and utterly terrifying and I am constantly reminded of my Waldorf education and the direct impact it has had on my life thus far. It taught me to remain true to what I am passionate about and to think independently when making those big scary life decisions. As cheesy as this sounds, my
advice would be to learn to really appreciate the little things that life throws you and make the best of what you are given. You are so lucky to have been given this unique opportunity to graduate from the Waldorf School, and you have been given the tools to tackle those big dreams!
VWS: What are your fondest memories of your time at the VWS?
KRB: I have fond memories of our annual Christmas and May Fairs running around with my classmates eating treats from the Cookie House, Candle Dipping and skipping around the
Maypole. But I think my favourite times were the High School outdoor adventure trips that we took each year. These trips were physically challenging (even if you were like me and chose the ‘easier’ hikes) and they were a time to enjoy each other’s company through the good and the bad. Pitching tents in the middle of the night, trekking in the rain, and eating freeze-dried food always makes you appreciate that hot shower waiting for you at home from a week-long wilderness adventure.
Interview by Ronaye Ireland, for Development May 2015