Indigenous Americas Program Director
Though born and raised in Pennsylvania, Amanda’s sense of ‘home’ has extended across the globe. Her first international travel immersion was after her first year of college, as a volunteer in rural Honduras. The 6-week experience sent her life spiraling along new paths centered on questions of justice, and explorations of the lived experience and the interconnectedness of diverse approaches to it. Amanda’s Honduran journey inspired her to join the Peace Corps after completing her undergraduate degree in Sociology and Spanish from Franklin & Marshall College. As a Peace Corps volunteer, she spent three years serving in the capacity of Community Health Promoter in the Dominican Republic.
Turning her sights to graduate school, Amanda applied for and was awarded a World Peace Fellowship from Rotary International. Through this fellowship program, Amanda completed her MA in Peace & Conflict Resolution from the University of Queensland in Australia. During the course of the fellowship, Amanda was also fortunate to study in Argentina and Brazil and intern in Kathmandu with a progressive youth organization, Youth Action Nepal. After a brief yet powerful chapter of living and teaching on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona, Amanda launched into her first semester with Carpe Diem as a co-leader for the FANZ trip. Since, she has also led semesters to Central America, South America, Southeast Asia and India.
In the spring of 2010, Amanda began focusing her energy on the cultivation of a new semester program, Indigenous America. Her inspiration for this semester was born primarily of her experience living on the Navajo Nation, where she was struck by the beauty of the natural landscape, the unique power of the culture, and the complex history of reservation land and its peoples. Amanda realized the immense learning opportunities available within the contours of our own country, and is hopeful for the paths generated through the IAM semester to allow for greater understanding and harmony between native and non-native peoples.
Amanda has developed a passion for life through the intensity of her journey across cultural boundaries. She holds a profound belief in the potential of inspired youth to positively transform our world, and is grateful to be collaborating with Carpe Diem in generating a network of such changemakers.
“. . . the supreme triumph is to be most vividly, most perfectly alive….The dead may look after the afterwards, but the magnificent here and now of life in the flesh is ours, and ours alone, and ours only for a time. We ought to dance with rapture that we should be alive and in the flesh, and part of the living, incarnate cosmos.” – D. H. Lawrence