The Change I Want to Bring to the World
The future I am striving to create is one in which no one has to live under the terror of bombardment and invasion, particularly in militarily weak countries. Because so much of what the foreign policy profession strives to create is merely the absence of conflict and poverty, it is useful to examine the consequences of foreign policy failure to illuminate the importance of policy success.
The Russian invasion and occupation of Ukraine provides the perfect example of this failure. While nothing the West has done can justify what the Putin regime continues to do to innocent civilians, policy mistakes were made. These mistakes have had tangible, tragic effects, for the war has inflicted dreadful suffering on the people of Ukraine, and the violence increases daily.
How I’ve Been Involved in Changemaking So Far
The last three years of my life have been a life-changing journey of development, filled with amazing programs allowing me to take my first steps in a career as a changemaker in foreign policy.
Through the Laidlaw Undergraduate Research and Leadership Scholarship Program, I have been able to immerse myself in the international relations community. This experience, including attending the Annual General Meeting at Chatham House, has convinced me to pursue a career in foreign policy and has therefore altered the trajectory of my life profoundly.
Beyond Laidlaw, I have also been selected for the Leeds Alumni Mentoring Program and have been mentored by Sir Roderic Lyne, a former British Ambassador to Russia and Foreign Affairs Advisor to the Prime Minister. Building upon my Laidlaw research with his help and guidance, I have formulated the plan for my master’s thesis. This thesis will study the implications of the Russian “strategic outlook,” which considers the states of the former Soviet Union as falling within a legitimate Russian sphere of influence. It will hopefully influence policymakers and, ultimately, create change in British foreign policy.
What Drew Me to This Fellowship
I am drawn to the Mentora Youth Changemaker Fellowship because it shares my values. I am a passionate believer in the notion that to change the world, one must first change oneself. The current crisis in Ukraine underlines how important foreign policy is, but in order to have a real-world impact, I must first work on myself. I need to build my inner fortitude and find my purpose so that I can articulate my vision and inspire others to achieve results. That is why I am so excited that this fellowship focuses on self-development, daily practice, and building moral fiber. The Mentora Foundation clearly understands that this is the best route to create real change, no matter the discipline.