Terry In Action- Allyson Neisig
This summer, Allyson Neisig (UNT 2015) volunteered in Thailand to help address poverty within the country’s hill tribes before traveling to Romania to intern at a human trafficking shelter.
What was your role in both of these experiences and why did you choose to get involved?
I volunteered in Thailand to help villagers build roads so that they may have access to sell crops at the local markets. Volunteering in Thailand has been a great way to see the culture while being able to make a difference in a great community. In mid-June, I headed to Romania to intern at a human trafficking shelter to teach rehabilitation activities to survivors. Last summer, I attended a study abroad trip to Romania where I first learned about the topic of human trafficking. I found what I am passionate about, which then led me to volunteering at home with shelters and to being a part of a research team on campus for Trafficking. Returning to intern in Romania gives me the opportunity to see the effort a different country puts into fights the issue of human trafficking. It also allows me to gain experience in this field because I wish to work with non-profits to help survivors as my future career.
What was the result in each case, and what have you learned?
At the end of volunteering in Thailand, I was pleased to see that the tribe will have better roads for travel. This will help them gain a better way of life. After Romania, I learned new ways of rehabilitation to take back to my work in the states, as well as ways to run an efficient non-profit. Both experiences have taught me to appreciate everything I have been fortunate enough to have back home. I have learned that I have a bigger purpose than myself and that I should try to give back as much as I can.
If you could give advice to other Terry Scholars who want to get involved with a similar initiative, what would you tell them?
All it takes is a little research. I started by looking into study abroad programs, which then helped me find my passion for helping others.