Buckley Public Service Scholar Alex Borgen turns service work into a career

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Alex Borgen’s work with Nourish International began during his junior year at Carolina and is taking him on a career path helping to combat poverty worldwide.

The 2012 graduate and Buckley Public Service Scholar snagged an internship with Nourish International, a nonprofit that started on the UNC campus, through which college students make a sustainable change on extreme poverty worldwide.

Borgen continued the internship until graduating, then took a job in Nourish’s headquarters in Carrboro, N.C., as a development associate. A double major in political science and communications studies at Carolina, Borgen says that the job enables him to gain more experience than most entry-level jobs.

While his main duties center on writing proposals for grants and partnerships with foundations and corporations, Borgen says he also does research into possible sources of financial support and revenue and helps manage a database that is crucial to fundraising.

Through his job, Borgen enables teams of college students from local Nourish chapters at 29 U.S. universities to work around the world on projects ranging from providing a source of clean drinking water for a community in Peru to improving marketing for a women’s cooperative in Turkey. Nourish students have completed 65 projects with 45 communities in 25 countries. The chapters support their projects through social enterprise ventures, including Hunger Lunches sold at the universities.

He draws on his Carolina education while on the job, and is itching to use what he learned in the rhetorical studies track in his communications studies major. “I’ve not yet used what I learned there to do any lobbying for Nourish, but I do use a lot of the communications aspects every day,” he says.

In Nourish, the Raleigh, N.C., native sees a global impact, but he most appreciates the organization’s personal impact. “The thing that keeps drawing me back to Nourish is its community. The people who work here are of exceptional quality.”

“Nourish really invests in the people working here. It’s a small organization so we get to do more than we might in other entry-level jobs.”

Read more on unc.edu.