The poverty cycle is a cruel one. It takes a lot of willing people with bold new ideas to break it. One such person is Mexico-born Macquarie graduate Arturo Gonzalez Vargas.
Armed with – and inspired by – his masters degree in International Relations, Arturo has become a force for social change through his role as Projects Manager for Kids’ Food Basket, a not-for-profit organisation based in Michigan, USA.
“We make sure that the most underprivileged children in West Michigan get consistent access to adequate nutrition,” Arturo explains. “Every weekday we serve around 7000 nutritious suppers to children and try to revert the social injustice of food insecurity in childhood.”
Arturo combines this work with a personal commitment to serving those in need amongst Michigan’s Latin American community. He has established his own non-profit organisation called LiberArte, a platform to empower youth through the arts.
“By empowering youth to build their identity through creative expression, LiberArte helps them face their daily challenges with a renewed spirit and confidence,” Arturo says.
Interestingly, it was Arturo’s involvement with Macquarie University’s student drama society DRAMAC where he realised the power of performance art.
“I realised how big of an influence it had on my personal and professional life,” he recalls. “Along with my passion for community development, it inspired me to start LiberArte.”
In fact, Arturo says his experience at Macquarie changed his career path entirely.
“When I entered my degree, I was considering several career paths,” he says. “With my peers coming from all parts of the world, with very different experiences, and my professors helping me develop a different kind of critical thinking, I realised my true passion was in serving the community and working to resolve social issues with innovative solutions.”
“Macquarie offers a challenging and deeply rewarding experience in the loveliest city in the world,” Arturo adds. “I don’t think I can ever be the same after my year at Macquarie, and I really wouldn’t want to be.”
The Master of International Relations prepares you to tackle the world’s big challenges. Graduates go on to make positive changes within the NGO sector, diplomacy, journalism, international business and trade, or academia.