“You can solve the water quality problem, but if you can’t solve the water access problem, then what does it mean for those people?”
Name: Liv Evans
Hometown: Downington, PA
Education: Tulane University
Passions and Interests: Reading, writing, club softball and intramural soccer. Philadelphia sports fan (as she says, “despite their luck”)
Transformational Experience: Guatemala: Children of the Maya™ and Dominican Republic: Building a Sustainable World™
Making an Impact: Raised $7,500 through the help of her high school student council for a water filter project and provided 169 filters to Dominican families
When Liv Evans was elected to serve as co-president of her student council back in high school, she didn’t take the ordinary course most people think of when it comes to student council initiatives. Through committed efforts at building awareness through her school’s homecoming and powderpuff football events, which were attended by over half the student population, and by petitioning her student council to act, she was able to raise nearly $7,500 for a project close to her heart: providing water filters to families in-need in the Dominican Republic.
After attending Global Leadership Adventures’ Building a Sustainable World™ program in the Dominican Republic, Liv has been driven to provide access to clean water to those without.
After my DR program, I started seeing the relevance of human security issues to all of my school subjects, and I found myself looking at the world through this new lens. Because of GLA, I have a burning passion for public health and development.”
Liv began her journey before the Dominican Republic by attending GLA’s Children of the Maya™ program in Guatemala back in 2013. At the time, she didn’t know what her real motivation was to attend the program beyond the desire to gain a broader perspective of the world. As she recalls though, it was GLA staff member Jesse Barber on her Guatemala program that said to her something that inspired her to continue traveling and doing service work beyond one program:
It’s amazing, really. When you’re at home all the people you know put you into this little box. They expect you to be and act a certain way. When you travel by yourself, though, you can break out of that box. You can choose the things you want to keep about yourself and the things you want to change to become the person you want to be. If you’re lucky, you get to take some of that new person home with you.”
This prompted Liv to return with Global Leadership Adventures the following summer, where she had the opportunity to spend weeks learning about the seven elements of human security, as taught by 7 Elements founder and GLA local director, Dr. Dave Addison. She says “7 Elements really practices what it preaches,” and from everything Liv’s accomplished, she’s done the same.
Following her first of several trips to the Dominican Republic, Liv raised the funds to provide 169 families with new water filters. She used a needs analysis to determine what could be done, and attributes “the strength of the intervention” through water filter distribution to what she says is the families’ willingness to help themselves.
And giving back to those in need of support has given back Liv much in return, even if that wasn’t her goal or expectation. She received a scholarship providing full college tuition from Tulane University, where she now attends, based on a video project about her experience with GLA in the Dominican Republic. She hopes to work in the field of global health with a special focus on water quality, clean water access, and/or infectious disease control.
On her reason for continuing to pursue widespread, effective change, Liv demonstrates that setting out to try is the most important part:
I seek to understand an unexplainable world and take on problems that are perhaps unsolvable, but I would lose my sense of humanity if I didn’t try. It is to be passionate, to stand for something greater than yourself, to gain undying empathy for humankind, that you have truly lived.”
Liv is currently attending Tulane University in New Orleans, LA, where she is involved in its Public Health Society and ONE, a foreign aid advocacy group.
Programs Liv attended:
Curious about exploring your own GLA adventure? Check these out:
- GLA Guatemala: Children of the Maya™
- GLA Dominican Republic: Building a Sustainable World™
- GLA Dominican Republic: Global Health Initiative™