New Intern: Introducing Jordan

Jordan was born and (mostly) raised in Edmonton, Alberta but seems to have had a tough time staying there since she was 17. She loves South American cultures and since grade 11 she has lived in Chile, Halifax, and now Toronto, and has worked and studied in many Spanish-speaking countries.

Jordan photo for blog

Having been raised by parents who were always in service of others, I was exposed from a young age to the idea of “service over self.” I didn’t specifically understand what this meant to me until participating in a Rotary Youth Exchange to Ovalle, Chile in 2007-2008. It was simultaneously the most terrifying and exhilarating experience of my life, and it was during this year in South America that I decided I wanted to make my living working in underdeveloped countries.

I went back to Edmonton to finish grade 12 in 2008 (my mom made me promise not to stay in Chile forever before at least finishing high school), but I didn’t stay long. After graduating high school, I went to Dalhousie University to study International Development and Spanish and Latin American Studies, during which time I studied abroad in Salamanca, Spain and Havana, Cuba.

After studying development for four years, I found myself questioning what sort of development organization I wanted to work for. I was given the unique opportunity to work for a UN Development Programme-funded teaching project in Chile after graduation, and have continued to look for ways to work with organizations that focused on participatory development. My skepticism led me to YCI, who’s youth-led and grassroots development model really impressed me.

I am already learning so much about how international development organizations function “behind the scenes” and am looking forward to learning more over the next four months. I am hoping this internship will help me learn the technical skills I need to achieve my goal to work in the developing world.


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