What better way to turn 21 than on a flight to Ghana? Kelsey Ellis will fly off to the African country on Aug. 30 to complete a two-week UC Human Rights Fellowship. Many graduate students here at UC San Diego have received the award in past years, but she is the first undergraduate student to be recognized. She plans to conduct a survey of water and technology needs in the community of Akawatia.
Ellis, a structural engineering student, is a member of Global Ties at the Jacobs School of Engineering and she and fellow students already are working with the nonprofit organization Ghana Africa International Operations to design a solar-powered water pump in that community.
GAIO’s founder, Jacqueline Prairie, will fly with Ellis to Ghana. Ellis said she plans to start her own non-governmental organization someday. She hopes the trip will provide her with a behind-the-scenes look at how NGOs work. It’s her first time outside of the United States and its territories (she went to Puerto Rico with her family when she was younger).
“I’m really excited to do something and be a part of the world,” Ellis said.
Below is a transcript of our chat with Kelsey on the Jacobs School Facebook page: