YF Complete US Fellowship
26-year old Young Fabian executive member, Alvin Carpio, has completed a six week tour of the United States as part of a prestigious fellowship programme. His trip, which took him to New York, Boston, Washington DC and Chicago, looked to understand how community leaders have campaigned for social change to help the poor, young offenders, the homeless, and the socially excluded in the United States. Carpio met political leaders in the United States Capitol, including Education Secretary Arne Duncan, and sought to discover what is being done in the United States to combat the ever-growing gap between rich and poor. His ultimate goal is to return to the UK to develop a new set of young leaders that represent marginalised economic and social groups.
The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust is funding Carpio’s work. The trust, founded in 1965, aims to provide opportunities for British citizens to go abroad on a project of their choosing to advance themselves through the knowledge and skills they gain. The Trust wants their fellows to return to the UK and put into practice what they have learnt.
Each year the trust rewards over 100 British citizens for a wide range of projects from a total of 1,200 applicants. A Fellow must travel overseas for between four to eight weeks, and past award winners have come from a variety of specialisms, including medicine, conservation, sport, women and youth. Carpio’s interest in leadership in young people is rooted in his upbringing in East London and his association with UpRising, an East London based youth engagement charity – whose patrons include Ed Miliband – and also boasts of East London MP Rushanara Ali as one of its founding partners.
Carpio currently works as a Public Affairs Officer for Catch22, a national social business that helps young people and families in difficult personal circumstances turn their lives around. Carpio has already appeared on CNN commenting on the London riots, and blogs on the Huffington Post. He has also launched a blog where he will wrote about his work in the United States (http://www.theexcluded.wordpress.com).
Commenting, Carpio said: ‘I am delighted and honoured to have been chosen as one of this year’s Winston Churchill Travel Fellows. Growing up in Newham gave me an insight into the importance of helping talented young people from disadvantaged backgrounds reach their potential in life. I am passionate about forming a new movement in the UK that gives people from all social backgrounds the opportunity to reach leadership positions, whether that is in business, politics, or civil society. There is much to learn from American politics and civil society, but they too have a lot to learn from our civic institutions and welfare state.’
‘I also hope my story will encourage other young people to take advantage of fantastic schemes such at The Winston Churchill Travel Fellowship and the UpRising Leadership Programme that have helped me and others so much.'