The Baylor India trip with Tim Williams forever changed Natalie Brackett ’09. She was so taken by the girls who received an education at the Sikkim Happiness Home through Williams’ Taraloka Foundation that she now works in international education.
She started at Washington University in St. Louis as a classics major. Because of her interest in India and Taraloka, she then enrolled in Eastern studies classes. “When it was all done, I majored in anthropology and religious studies, but because I benefited from such a great education in elementary and high school, teaching and learning were always important to me. After tutoring and conducting field work in St. Louis public schools, I realized that education is an incredible way to connect to communities I care about and want to better understand and serve.”
After graduation, Brackett taught in Nan, Thailand, through the Princeton in Asia program. She was a paralegal for a short time in Washington, D.C., before moving to pursue an M.Ed. in international education policy and management from Vanderbilt University. She completed her degree after a semester at Columbia Law School’s Center for Public Research and Leadership and accepted a position in New York with the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE).
I realized that education is an incredible way to connect to communities I care about and want to better understand and serve.
INEE is an open, global network of more than 14,000 individual members and 130 partner organizations in 190 countries. Brackett is one of just ten Standards and Practice Coordinators worldwide employed by the International Rescue Committee to support INEE members in providing education despite ongoing conditions or temporary disasters, such as hurricanes, poverty, war, natural disasters, or refugee crises.
Between trips to the field, Brackett now works full-time from her home in Santa Fe, N.M. “Marginal populations, such as girls and refugees, who might not have access to those same opportunities [I did] are those I aim to serve the most.”