A plan hatched in Switzerland gives birth to help for Africa
By Connor Child
An idea born on a train in Switzerland ended up changing the life of a Huntsman student and dozens of people in Africa.
It was on a trip to Switzerland with the Huntsman Scholars Program that Bryson White and three other students began making plans for an independent study course about what could be done to alleviate extreme poverty in Africa.
In his last semester before graduation, he helped make the course a reality. Students who participated in the course were assigned several books detailing Africa’s history and how people have tried to make a difference there. They met each week under the direction of a faculty member to discuss the readings and deliberate about the best ways to help the people.
Immediately after graduating, Mr. White and his wife, Kristy, moved to Kenya thanks, in part, to a scholarship from the Huntsman Scholars Program. Mr. White taught economics courses to high school students and did market research and basic consulting for micro-entrepreneurs.
“A lot of what I learned at the Huntsman School was that I could create whatever path I wanted,” said Mr. White, who graduated from USU in 2010 with a degree in entrepreneurship. “And I wanted to be involved with something that went beyond profits and losses – I wanted to do something with a more meaningful impact.”
Mr. White’s next position was with Banyan Branch, a communications and social media firm in Seattle. He consulted with communications teams for large philanthropic foundations and non-profit organizations.
He is now in New York City working with the William J. Clinton Foundation. He is on the communications team for the Clinton Global Initiative.
“It’s a phenomenal experience to work with some of the best minds in business, government, and non-profit organizations,” Mr. White said. “They are working together to help solve some of the bigger problems we face like poverty and global health issues. It’s all about setting common goals and working together to fix some of the unfortunate things about the world.”
Mr. White credits the numerous clubs and programs at the Huntsman School for shaping his career path. As a student, he was involved with the Huntsman Scholars, Koch Scholars, and e-Club. He said his experiences with Huntsman programs helped him gain a better understanding of what he cared about and exposed him to other students who felt the same way.
"I am excited about the school’s future and hope that I can play a role in future developments," Mr. White said.