Leadership Week, co-organized by the John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding, brought 13 first-year students and sophomores from the King Scholars Program to Washington, D.C., shortly after Thanksgiving. The annual Leadership Week trip at the start of winterim is designed for the King Scholars to build and reflect on their own leadership skills through interactions with organizations doing global work in the field of poverty alleviation. It's also an opportunity for these international students to strengthen friendships and develop a sense of community among themselves.
During their time in the Capitol, the King Scholars visited the office of U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster '78; her congressional intern, Oliver De Jonghe '23, gave them a tour of the Capitol.
At The World Bank, they discussed the institution's programs and initiatives across the world with the Global Partnership for Social Accountability (GPSA) team.
A visit later in the week to learn about Oxfam's mission to fight inequality to end poverty and injustice was described by Arif Suleimani '26, a government major originally from Afghanistan and one of the Dickey Center's War & Peace Fellows, as both impactful and eye-opening.
Yehalah Fernando '26, a King Scholar from Sri Lanka, said, "Seeing how these organizations work inspires me to take impactful action for social justice. Our visit showed me the infinite pathways my career could take."
Meeting with Dartmouth alumni of Washington, D.C. offered the students an opportunity to learn about the experiences and insights of members of the Scholar's extensive Dartmouth network.
Reflecting back on trip, freshman Miftah Meky, a computer science major from Ethiopia, took a broad view. "To change the world requires knowing one's purpose in life. The more encompassing this purpose, the greater an impact one can have." For Josue Godeme, a sophomore from Benin, the visit showed the many different ways in which it was possible to have an impact on the lives of people. "It inspired me to get going and finish setting up my NGO project in my home country, too," he said.
The King Scholars Program at Dartmouth supports international students interested in alleviating poverty in their home countries.They were accompanied on this year's Leadership Week by Jay Davis, Amy Newcomb, and Peter Jenkinson.
Jay Davis is the director of the King Scholars Program. Learn more here, or contact Peter Jenkinson.