Stephany Yong's Blog

Featured Community Member: Kate Hensley with the Tea Leaf Trust

More often than not, a person's career path is influenced by what he or she excelled at or found interest in within the context of the classroom. For instance, the physics and calculus brainiac will probably pursue a career in engineering while the student with a passion for historical texts may want to be a historian or even a lawyer. But what if that student never had that opportunity to pursue their interests? What if students never received the training and intellectual inspiration to pursue their passions? Unfortunately, many young people in the tea growing region of Sri Lanka must resort to extremely poorly paid labour-intensive jobs; picking tea or working as farm laborers cultivating vegetables.

However, with the work of the non-profit organization Tea Leaf Trust, individuals will receive education and vocational training to help them get higher paying and more fulfilling jobs. With Tea for Sri Lanka quickly approaching (this Saturday, November 19), I spoke to Kate Hensley, a student at New York University, about her experiences with Givology, Tea Leaf Trust, and her motivation to put on this event.

After joining Givology one year ago, Kate has been active within the Givology core team, especially her work with partners in central Sri Lanka, like Tea Leaf Trust. By working with young people, Kate saw first hand how they were being prepared for higher paying jobs and encouraged to take on leadership within their communities.

"As leaders in their communities, they get out of poverty and are exposed to innovation and responsible business practices. It sets an example for everyone else in the community," Kate said.

One of Kate's most memorable moments of her time in Sri Lanka this summer was visiting a community that had an English-learning program. Tea Leaf Trust had its own students that were receiving vocational training teach younger children and adults English, having these young adults already take on a leadership role in their communities.

As for Saturday's event, Kate is excited for what is in store.

"It is a great networking event. The event is not just to raise money but to also increase awareness of what these grops are working on, and for the Givology community of a group of people passionate for a cause," Kate said.

Check out some photos of Kate's trip to Sri Lanka this summer!


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