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This summer, NC State University’s Global Training Initiative (GTI) welcomed international students from China to package Rise Against Hunger meals as part of the initiative’s support for ending global hunger.

Focusing on leadership and unique ways to become an innovator, GTI encouraged students to think outside the box this summer. As a part of this initiative, about 30 students, including international students from Zhejang University in China, had the opportunity to participate in the Rise Against Hunger Experience.

Melissa Edwards Smith, a program manager at GTI, coordinates the courses and workshops for the students in the program. Working directly with the international students, her goal this summer was to focus on global leadership, cultural skills and creating a union of students from different majors. With this in mind, Melissa knew that participating in a meal packaging event would bring all of the students together for a hands-on project.

“This summer, I really wanted the program to embody a new way to think about global issues while also incorporating hands-on learning with organizations. We want our leaders to not just think about leadership, but to discover new ways to exhibit leadership,” she said.

Helen, a psychology instructor from Zhejang University in China, had the opportunity to travel to the U.S. to join her students for the summer program. When asked what has been the most memorable experience from her visit, she said, “Coming to this warehouse was an amazing way to spend my first trip to America. This is what I will remember.”

Together, the students and volunteers worked in teams to package thousands of meals in just under one hour.

It’s not often that international and local students have the opportunity to join forces in our mission to end world hunger by 2030. Here’s what a few of them had to say about their Rise Against Hunger Experience:

“I attended my first meal packaging event at Rise when I was in the 6th grade. Having the opportunity to come back and work as a team is really cool.”
-Molly, incoming freshman, NC State University

“We’ve been discussing leadership and new ways to display those traits throughout the program. Putting what we’ve been saying into action is what excites me. We’re not doing it because it looks good but because we’re making an impact.”
-Juniper, rising senior, NC State University

“I’ve lived in a developing country most of my life, so I’ve seen people experience hunger firsthand. Knowing the impact and that I’m helping those same people that were once in my own backyard, means a lot.”
-Rushali, rising sophomore, NC State University

Ready to schedule a Rise Against Hunger Experience event for your group? Get started today!

Shared in Blog, Growing the Movement