Chase senior spends summer working for global anti-poverty agency
Posted 10/06/2015 11:06AM

Ally Feldman Epitomizes Chase's Core Values of Courage, Confidence and Compassion

Ally Feldman is not one to shy away from a challenge. As a junior at Chase, she applied for a summer internship at the New York City office of BRAC, the world’s largest anti-poverty organization. “BRAC is a wonderful organization, based in Bangladesh, and they do so much for developing countries,” Ally says. “They take a holistic approach to eradicating poverty, by educating and empowering the poorest of the poor, teaching them to start their own businesses through economic and social programs.”

After a phone interview with BRAC officials, Ally was hired, and spent the summer living in New York City and working for the non profit, writing reports on the efforts to combat poverty. “It was remarkable,” says the 17-year old Cheshire resident. “At morning meetings, we’d talk by Skype with the teams in Nepal, Bangladesh, Uganda, and the other countries.”

BRAC was founded by Sir Fazle Hasan Abed of Bangladesh in 1972, who was knighted for his philanthropic efforts, Ally says. “He was a former Shell Oil executive who left his lucrative job to found BRAC.” In 2015, he won the World Food Prize for his “unparalleled” work in reducing global poverty.

For example, Ally wrote an article about BRAC’s Livelihoods Enhancement through Agriculture Development (LEAD) program in Tanzania, which “has increased farmers’ incomes by teaching them skills such as effective bargaining and confidence in their product through marketing…By organizing groups through which farmers can cultivate markets and contacts, as well as offering easier access to supplies and modern agriculture technology, many more families have become food secure. In just two years of operation LEAD has formed 5,027 farmers’ organizations for both maize and poultry.”

During her internship, Ally lived with her aunt in Queens, and took the subway every day to BRAC’s Manhattan office. “I learned what the real world is like, and I also learned the New York City subway system,” she says.

Ally’s spirit of compassion represents one of Chase’s core values, along with courage and confidence. “Compassion is ubiquitous at Chase,” Ally says. “We want to have a strong and active presence in our community…Many of my peers start clothing drives, recycling drives, food drives, tutoring programs, and much more.”

Ally is also the involved in “Cupcakes for Kids” at Chase, which organizes bake sales and donates the profits to local charities and organizations, such as the Alzheimer’s Foundation. “Chase makes it easy for us to do these kinds of projects. You are expected to be kind, do your best, and be confident,” says Ally, who is a Founders Scholar at Chase and has attended the school since kindergarten. “By the time you graduate, you should know how to make your mark.”

When Ally was a sophomore, she participated in “Swiss Semester,” a three-month program based in Zermatt, Switzerland, where she participated in a rigorous academic curriculum, traveled to Italy and France---and also went skiing, hiking and gorging in the Swiss Alps. “It was crazy and exciting,” Ally says. “I love to travel and learn about different cultures. And I love snow and skiing.”

At Chase, Ally is a member of the tennis and cross-country teams and also served as the coxswain on the crew team. She is one of two Senior Prefects on the Honor Council as well, and an active member of Temple’s Youth Group, Temple Beth David in Cheshire.

As for future plans, Ally envisions a possible career perhaps in “government…or maybe as the producer of a nightly TV news show.”

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