For D.C. HOPE Fellows, there’s no such thing as a casual educational outing. Last Wednesday, after attending an event at the Brookings Institute on U.S.-African economic relations, the HOPE fellows met the one and only Bill Clinton in a post-panel meet and greet.
Fellows attended the panel to learn more about the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). Panelists discussed the reauthorization of the AGOA and strategies for deepening U.S. trade and investment in Africa.
The keynote speaker, President Clinton, addressed the need to shift toward intelligent aid to Africa, making the continent self-sufficient and able to maximize its exports. “The fundamental idea behind AGOA was that no country could work itself out of poverty with aid alone,” President Clinton remarked, suggesting we pursue mutual partnerships between the United States and Africa.
With many HOPE financial literacy and assistance programs in South Africa, fellows enjoyed learning more in-depth about the economic and socio-political reasons for our work abroad. The informational trip, however, became another infamously awesome DC HOPE Fellow outing when fellows Katherine, Christian, and Alaina met President Clinton in person following the panel discussion.
Operation HOPE’s Fellow and Internship program gives young people the practical field experience they need to begin fruitful careers serving others. For our D.C.-based fellows, the program is quickly becoming the opportunity of a lifetime to meet influential people and learn to have a blast even during work time.