By Mickey Jackson, STAND Student Director
Almost nine years ago, a small group of students at Georgetown University formed the first STAND chapter (fun fact: back then, STAND was an acronym for “Students Taking Action Now in Darfur). Since then, thousands of students from across the country have built and led constituencies for atrocities prevention in their communities. As a result, the “STAND Fam” does not just include our current crop of student organizers; it also includes several generations’ worth of “STAND alumni,” those who worked with STAND in high school and/or college and have since graduated.
Where can STAND alumni be found? Simply put, they’re all over the place! Some have gone to work as professional human rights organizers, others work in government, and many have played leading roles in political and issue-based campaigns. But one thing they have in common is this: if you ask them, chances are they’ll identify their time with STAND as an important formative experience, one that not only helped them decide what to do after graduation but also equipped them with skills that helped them to excel in their chosen career paths.
For many of these individuals, even those whose work no longer relates to atrocities prevention, their attachment to and involvement with this movement did not end with graduation. As anyone who has been to STAND Camp can attest, our alumni continue to play a key role in training and inspiring the next generation of STAND students. Over the next few months, our blog will feature intermittent posts by some of our most accomplished alumni, all addressing some variant of the following question: “What have you been doing since you left STAND, and how did your work with STAND affect your post-graduation life?” It is my hope that all of our readers, especially those who (like me!) are trying to answer the age-old “What the heck am I going to do with my life, anyway?!?” question, will find this series interesting, informative, and (just maybe!) inspiring.