Givology Staff's Blog

Get to Know Givology-Brent Harlow

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Hello, my name is Brent, and I currently live outside of Des Moines, Iowa with my wife and seven-year-old son. Last summer I earned a PhD in comparative literature from the University of Wisconsin, although I plan to go into secondary rather than higher education teaching. I enjoy reading esoteric books, listening to live music, and running or biking where there are as few cars as possible.
[b]How did you find Givology and what made you want to join the organization?[/b]
I learned about Givology through idealist.org as I was finishing up my dissertation. My research was focused on questions of disability in the context of inequalities in global development, and it relied on the normal methods of literary scholarship, i.e. textual analysis. Especially in the final stages of writing, I was just eager to get beyond the text and learn more about the real-world work being done in the developing world today, especially in the area of education. That brought me to Givology.
[b]
What does Givology’s mission mean to you?/Why is Givology’s mission important to you?[/b]
It hits home when I see pictures of children in schools in Guatemala, or in Kenya, or in any of the other places where Givology partners are doing great work, and I compare what I see in those photos to the schools my son has had the good fortune to attend. Givology gives me something concrete and effective to do with the feeling that that sort of disparity just isn’t right.
[b]
What do you hope to achieve off volunteering/interning with Givology?[/b]
Just to play some small role in helping children in the developing world get an education.

[b]What is your advice to anyone thinking (unsure) about volunteering for Givology?[/b]
Do it, of course! There are so many different skill sets that go into making Givology the organization it is. Put your talents to use in support of children in the developing world.

[b]What gives you motivation everyday to volunteer?[/b]
When I read about the transformative work Givology partners are doing in the field, or I hear another volunteer talk about an exciting project, or I hear about some new idea on a team conference calls, I tend to return to whatever I am working on with renewed enthusiasm.

[b]What is your favorite cause on Givology and why? [/b]
When I first came on, I learned about Givology’s work with Abaarso, and was really moved. I then saw the 60 Minutes special—which I recommend to anyone reading this—and was blown away by what students there have managed to accomplish, despite the dire social, economic and political circumstances in which they find themselves.

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