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LBJ student Jessi Stafford (MGPS) has taken a summer internship with Artists for Soup, a nonprofit dedicated to reducing hunger, malnutrition and poverty through empowering women and secondary school students. Stafford shares her observations on living in poverty in La Paz Centro, Nicaragua.

“I sit here gazing out the café window at another life. A life I live amongst but a life I don’t live. I know the work I’m doing with Artists for Soup, developing organic gardens to supplement diets and provide food security to families is incredibly important,” Stafford said. “But perhaps I will always feel slightly guilty for not being able to snap my fingers and change lives. As I’ve learned at LBJ, real change must start small. In class, we’ve explored different development techniques and nothing sustainable can be implemented overnight. Poco a poco. Little by little. You get used to, but it does not get easier.”

"As I’ve learned at LBJ, real change must start small. In class, we’ve explored different development techniques and nothing sustainable can be implemented overnight." —Jessi Stafford

Stafford’s travel is supported by the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law.

For more on Stafford’s experiences, visit The Baines Report, an LBJ student organization dedicated to publishing student op-eds, blogs and media related to current policy.

About the Crook Fellowship

As part of the William H. Crook Program in International Affairs, funded by the Eleanor Crook Foundation, Crook Fellows receive grants to support summer internships with organizations doing work in developing countries. For more information, visit https://www.strausscenter.org/crookprogram.