How ONE Campus changed my life

Before college, Meredith Horowski didn’t think twice about global poverty. But once she got involved with her ONE Campus chapter, she was hooked — and now, she works at ONE overseeing our campus efforts. Read her incredible story:

I haven’t always been an activist. For much of high school and even into college, I was absorbed with friends, never-ending swim practices, and working to pay tuition. I was a daughter and sister, serious student and teacher’s pet, and overzealous athlete, but advocate was never at the top of list. The plight of the world’s poorest people and Africa were too distant from my everyday life to compete with the social and academic realities vying for my attention.

OCC Group with President Kagame
Meredith and University of Michigan students with President Paul Kagame.

Thankfully, as I settled at the University of Michigan and was introduced to the opportunities that a global institution offers, I began to shed some of my earlier priorities. Joining student government and taking classes on crime, race and law acquainted me to the complex world of social justice and policy change.

Get involved with global poverty on campus. Join ONE Campus Challenge now.

But it wasn’t until a friend introduced me to ONE that advocacy, justice and equality went from an extracurricular or an academic paper topic to a lifestyle. As I learned more about the problem of extreme poverty and the people behind the statistics, I began to fall in love with Africa and advocate for it on my own campus. ONE at the University of Michigan taught me more about leadership, activism and development than any of my classes. Then, after traveling to Rwanda and witnessing firsthand the incredible power of resilience, hope, and humanity in the people committed to lifting themselves out of poverty, I knew the true end of my personal apathy and the beginning of a lifetime of advocacy.

OCC Group Outside of FAWE Girls' Secondary School
Meredith (in a red shirt) at the FAWE Girls’ Secondary School in Rwanda with ONE

And now, as ONE’s campus coordinator, the only thing I find more inspiring than the knowledge that smart development programs are changing lives in the world’s poorest regions is the power of that knowledge in the hands of college students. Through the ONE Campus Challenge, ONE’s primary avenue for educating, recruiting and mobilizing college students in the fight against extreme poverty, I’ve seen some of the nation’s savviest student leaders rally their peers and floor their campuses and Congressmen with unparalleled passion for advocacy, justice and equality. From collecting thousands of petition signatures to hosting panel discussions on agriculture food security to informed lobby meetings on Capitol Hill, our ONE Campus chapters across the country have changed the game for the fight against poverty in big ways.

With the ONE Campus Challenge, students have the opportunity to take concrete action through advocacy-oriented challenges that urge political leaders to support programs that are saving lives in the developing world every day. And as a friendly competition between colleges and universities across the country, every action students take earns points for their school and the opportunity to win some cool prizes along the way. Together, college students, faculty, alumni, and friends are coming together as ONE to use their voice on behalf of the world’s poorest people and to loudly reject the paralysis of apathy.

The next generation of leaders and advocates is here. Will you join us? Go to www.one.org/campus to join the student fight against extreme poverty, ONE Campus at a time.