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Jewell students seek to help impoverished people through microfinancing
Contact: Rob Eisele816-415-7574
March 27, 2007

William Jewell College students participating in the Pryor Leadership Studies Program have launched a campaign to support impoverished people in third-world countries through microfinancing.

“Microfinance is the practice of providing small loans to impoverished people in third-world countries in order to start or improve their small businesses,” said Justin Barclay, a Pryor Fellow at William Jewell. “The people receiving these microloans live in countries where traditional bank loans are hard to come by or that charge exorbitant interest rates. The goal of microfinancing is to give hard-working and creative people the opportunity to act on their entrepreneurial ideas and to empower them to lift themselves out of poverty.”

The Jewell students will partner with Kiva, a California-based non-profit organization that assists in providing microfinancing. A representative from Kiva will speak at a fundraising dinner at 5:30 p.m. April 9 in the Gano Assembly Room on the William Jewell campus in Liberty, Mo. The suggested donation is $10 per meal.

“The Pryor class has already personally given over $2,000, but we are hoping to raise $12,500 for loans,” Barclay said. All donations are tax-deductible.

Each year, Jewell students preparing to graduate from the prestigious Pryor Leadership Studies Program work together to organize a service-learning project that aims to leave a lasting impact on the community and all who are involved.

Endowed by Jewell alumni Fred and Shirley Pryor, the Pryor Leadership Studies Program teaches personal, vocational and civic leadership through critical reflection, mentoring and “real-world” experience. In order to graduate as Pryor Leadership Fellows and receive the corresponding leadership certificate, students complete a course in leadership theory and assessment, compile a leadership portfolio, serve in volunteer and vocational internships, and participate in an Outward Bound experiential learning exercise.

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