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Meet Caroline Busch

By Allison Kooser

This fall, we are celebrating education by highlighting incredible students and teachers around the world - including our friends right here at home. This week, I chatted with Caroline Busch, a high school Junior at Loyola Academy in Chicago. Caroline is starting an Opportunity club at her school with her sister Charlotte and her cousin Mary Goldberg - and we think she is awesome!

Hi Caroline! Thanks for talking with us! Take a minute to introduce yourself. Who are you and what do you like to do?

My name is Caroline Busch.  I am an incoming junior at Loyola Academy in Wilmette, IL.  My cousin Mary, my sister Charlotte, and I are starting a microfinance club at our high school where we will be provide loans to clients of Opportunity International, and share the transformational power of microfinance in developing countries.

Awesome! How and why did you decide to get involved with Opportunity International?

I got involved with Opportunity International during a family trip to Rwanda.  We visited the incredible trust groups that Opportunity supports and saw the huge difference that the loans were making for these women -  how they were positively changing not only the women's lives but also their families and communities.  We reached out to Opportunity about our idea for a high school club and they welcomed the idea with open arms. 

Why do you think it's important for students to learn about and be involved with the developing world? 

As a high school student, I'm concerned with all the things that a typical teenager is worried about: homework, friends, family, and where I'll go to college. Although these things are important to focus on, kids have to be able to take a step back and realize that around the world there are people who can't even afford to support their families and send their children to school.  It's crucial that students are aware of the developing world and how so many people live in poverty and need our support. Knowing this will make students more grateful and aware of all the gifts they have in their own lives, and how they can use these gifts to better the lives of others.

What is one thing that you are currently learning? It could be from a book, a class, a conversation - anything! 

I recently read the book Left To Tell by Immaculee Ilibagiza. This book was written about a young women's journey through the Rwandan genocide and her faith and preserverence through her times of great sadness and fear.  This book took me through her steps of forgiveness and rebuilding.  She had to learn to put her trust in God and forgive the ones that hurt her the deepest.  This took more courage than most of us could ever imagine and it taught me that you cannot hold onto grudges.  You have to learn to release your anger and be thankful for the blessings you have.

That's an amazing and difficult thing to learn. Why do you think education is important? Why does school matter for you? 

Education is important to me because of what I know is possible to do with it afterward.  School teaches you about the endless possibilities and the difference you can make in the world using your unique talents and gifts.  As a student learns more, their imagination for what they can do broadens.  The hope and drive that school instills in children is what makes education a necessity to children everywhere.  Once a student has an understanding of the possibilities ahead, there is no telling what amazing things she can accomplish!

Thanks Caroline! We are so excited to help you engage students at Loyola Academy with Opportunity's work around the world! 

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