Global Brigades: Panama
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Brittany Colton

Brittany Colton

Hometown: Troy, PA
Major: Anthropology
Minors: Latin and Sociology

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I am the current President of Global Brigades and am responsible for motivating other students and encouraging them to go on our yearly trips.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

The experience was unbelievable! For anyone who is interested in working for human rights or in the non-profit field in the future, I would definitely recommend going on a Global Brigades trip! I was able to work with Panamanian lawyers to provide pro-bono legal assistance in rural communities. Many of the problems these families faced seemed to be issues that we don't necessarily deal with in America. For instance, we dealt with families looking for divorces, child payments, and alimony. In America, we know exactly how to go about getting all of these done, while many Panamanians do not know their basic legal rights. It was a great experience being able to help with that.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I have really been considering attending law school in the near future and this experience allowed me to realize the passion I have for law and the exact path I would like to take to achieve my academic goals. As an anthropology major, I felt it was necessary for me to travel to another country to experience a different culture. By traveling with Global Brigades, I was able to mesh my passion for pro-bono legal work and my love of working in diverse cultures. Furthermore, my minor in Latin helped me with speaking Spanish in Panama.

What are your career goals or plans? How did this experience impact them?

While I mentioned above that I love law and have been considering law school in the future, I am currently enlisted in an Americorps program called City Year. I will be working in Miami this upcoming school year to keep middle/high school students in school and on track for graduation. After my year of service, I plan on getting my MSW. As for the future, I'd love to become a forensic social worker. This would allow me to incorporate my desire to work in a legal profession even though I won't technically be a lawyer. I also plan on working for the Peace Corps in the future, but I am unsure when that would be.

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