I had the opportunity to go to Brazil several years ago as part of IBM’s Corporate Service Corps where I worked in Sao Paulo for a month at a non-profit that encourages kids to stay in school. During one of my weekends there, I stopped at a craft fair in a park near my apartment and met a woman who was selling hand-woven scarves. We had a halting conversation due to my lack of Portuguese and limits to her English but I was able to explain to her why I was in Brazil. There I was, all proud of my multi-national corporate sponsor who sent me off to save the world. Her response was a challenge that I did not expect and one that has motivated me to become significantly more involved and civic minded. She asked, “Don’t you have poor people in Vermont?”

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