Hello or Sawadee Ka!
My name is Natalie, and I am originally from Roswell, GA. Before and during my time at Belmont, I was always convinced I wanted to spend my life working towards ending social issues such as food insecurity, human trafficking, marginalization, and more. I recently graduated from Belmont with a degree in Social Entrepreneurship and an emphasis in Faith, Culture, and Ethics. My hope for my career is to work under multiple organizations that are fighting an issue or fulfilling a need in different sectors. When I am old and gray, I hope to be a professor teaching the same subjects that I learned in college.
During my time in Thailand, I will be responsible for seeking, applying to, and managing grants for both of the organizations. In case you don’t know what a grant is, here is a simple definition by The Grantsmanship Center: A grant is an awarded investment into an organization (usually a non-profit) or sole individual that is addressing important issues within a community. Grants can really be the fuel that enables an organization’s drive towards its mission (nice analogy, right? Made that up myself). I am thankful to have developed a skill set in grant writing from none other than Dr. Bernard Turner, GPC at Belmont. Towards the end of my project, I will also teach other volunteers, or permanent staff, to grant write so they can keep the practice up. I have been told by both organizations that I must arrive willing to be flexible and adaptable. I’ll let you know if they also put me in charge of the chickens or helping out with English courses. These girls are gonna start speaking with a little southern twang if that’s the case! Pray for them.
So peeps, that’s it! Thank you for your interest and time in learning more about who I am and why I am headed to Thailand. I feel very in over my head with this project, but I am eased with gratitude when I think about the many people who encouraged me to do this work and believed in my project proposal. If you are interested in watching my project play out then please follow along with my blog posts. I am excited to tell you stories from the valuable time that I am spending in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai.