By Ronnie Rabena, Widener University student
It is unbelievable to think just how quickly transformative events can take place. As a Widener University international relations and political science dual major, I constantly strive to develop a global mindset and to gain cultural appreciation.
With this being said, I could not have adequately prepared myself to attend a United Nations charter signing, a World Hunger Conference in Guelph, Canada, or even to be helping develop a mini-farm in Honduras. These high-impact experiences were so incredibly eye opening and have taken me far beyond my comfort zone.
When I first heard of the Presidents United To Solve Hunger (PUSH) signing at the United Nations and learned of the many ways a university, or our university, can help solve hunger, it was hard for me not to become enthralled.
Dr. Patricia Dyer and I realized that in order for Widener University to advance our participation and commitment in the hunger solutions conversation we needed to understand each of the unique challenges. The 10th Annual Universities Fighting World Hunger Summit that I was fortunate enough to attend through the Verni grant, was an extremely beneficial first step in the growing process. During this summit, I found myself involved in and inspired by conversations that I did not previously think existed. Individuals from across the globe were talking of the many ideas, projects, and life-changing advancements that they and their respected universities are making in facing global hunger.
During this summit, I found myself involved in and inspired by conversations that I did not previously think existed.
At this conference, I learned of the many roles that businesses, leaders of academia, local communities and students are playing in seeking hunger solutions. In conversations with attendees, I began to see the many ways I and other Widener students could contribute to this worthy cause. In just a few short days, I became invested in projects that take place as far as Cambodia and as close as Washington, D.C.
Upon my return, I shared as much information as I could with my fellow classmates who would also be traveling to Honduras. The class then brainstormed about local projects in Chester and even our mini-farm project in Honduras. Attending this conference also gave me the leadership opportunity to present information about hunger solutions to the Widener University Deans Council, at the request of President Harris.
These awesome experiential learning opportunities have given me a new perspective on sustainable impacts that Widener students can make both locally and globally. I am grateful for the support of the Oskin Leadership Institute and I am excited to develop future student action plans that benefit both local and global communities.
Ronnie Rabena studies international relations and political science at Widener University, the most recent educational institution to sign the Presidents’ Commitment to Food and Nutrition Security. Widener University has partnered with Zamorano University in Honduras to develop a small, sustainable farm at REMAR Orphanage. Widener students have recently exemplified the PUSH passion for solving hunger by forming a committee to fight hunger locally, and by raising funds for the REMAR project.