Giving Back and Learning Along the Way: Princeton in Africa

Princeton in Africa develops young leaders committed to Africa’s advancement by offering yearlong fellowship opportunities with a variety of organizations that work across the African continent. This year Samantha Mendoza, a graduate student pursuing an MA in Magazine, Newspaper, and Online Journalism at the Newhouse School, was chosen as a Princeton in Africa fellow. She has been placed at the Orkeeswa School in Monduli, Tanzania, which focuses on developing young leaders and fostering a spirit of entrepreneurship and community engagement. Sam plans to pursue a career as an international correspondent who contributes long-form magazine pieces about human rights and international development. The Princeton in Africa experience will broaden her knowledge of international development, local governments, NGOs, and access to education so that she may contribute balanced and ethical reporting in future foreign assignments. Through Princeton in Africa, she will fully engage with her host community and help to re-think current misconceptions about Africa through her writing.

The year-long fellowship will allow Sam to be fully immersed in a new culture, educate herself about Tanzania’s contemporary issues, and, most importantly, build community with people there. Sam reports that it was a difficult decision to commit to a yearlong placement in a country that she has never visited before. There will be language and culture barriers, but these are just a part of the learning experience, Sam says. “I am looking forward to the opportunity to truly learn from and be in dialogue with my new surroundings before jumping into the media world, and I think that this experience will ultimately make me a stronger and more ethical reporter.” Sam will be living in a rural community, without running water or a reliable wifi connection. She hopes to gain a better understanding of what service and community engagement can look like.

The program provides a modest fund for living expenses while on the fellowship and Samantha is trying to raise more assistance for her year abroad. If you would like to contribute please donate with the link below.