As a newly-minted graduate of the University of Michigan, Liz Haynes (BBA 2003, MAcc 2004) moved to New York City to work in accounting and finance. She stayed for about five years before seeking other opportunities in New Orleans and Tulsa to work with a number of non-profits including disaster relief organizations and charter schools. Her latest move has taken her quite a bit farther from where she had attended school in Ann Arbor and had taken several entrepreneurial studies courses with Professor Len Middleton and others.
About a year ago Liz moved to Chennai, India to work with a local NGO, Pudiyador, which offers after-school programs for youth at five centers across the city.
Through running one of the center’s sport and art based programs, specifically geared towards teenagers, Liz teamed up with likeminded Pudiyador staff in May 2014 to organize India’s first sleep-away Ultimate Frisbee camp for teens in Gujarat. The uniquely designed sport-art camp brought together 120 kids and 35 coaches from across the country for five days with a mission to inspire a generation of Indian youth to bridge the gaps created by poverty, gender, and caste. The next Bridging the Gaps: Ultimate Frisbee Youth Camp will be held in southern India in Auroville from December 26-30, 2014.
“It’s been a fantastic ride,” Liz said. “I feel like I’ve really found my niche.”
She’s now looking forward to spending half the year in India creating sleep-away sport-art camps for underprivileged youth and the other half of the year in Sydney at the University of New South Wales to evaluate the impact the camps have on teens’ levels of empathy, open-mindedness, gender equality, confidence and teamwork.