My One Cent: Brenda Rose
"Working with CARE as an advocate and fellow gave me clarity and elevated my self-esteem and self-development."
November 15, 2017
Brenda Rose is one of CARE Action’s 2016/2017 fellows and among CARE’s most effective advocates. She describes herself as “incredibly shy” though so we wondered why Brenda puts herself out there for CARE? This is Brenda’s One Cent Story:
I’m from Vancouver Washington, just over the river from the big city, Portland, Oregon. I was a CARE supporter for about seven years before I started advocating for them. I did some research and loved their strategy of helping women and girls. There came a point though, where I was ready to do a little bit more. I’d recently turned 40. I’d had my kids and I had some job prospects, but they just weren’t cutting it for me. I’d been looking for a way to engage that had a little more meaning and wasn’t just monetary. Advocating for CARE became my way of “stepping it up.”
Then, about three years ago, an opportunity to work more closely with CARE fell into my lap. The idea of advocacy didn’t come easy to me. I’m incredibly shy and really uncomfortable with public speaking and I thought it was the last thing I wanted to do. I did it anyway and in the process, I found my voice. It filled the void I was looking to fill and gave me more purpose. It actually made me more comfortable with public speaking than I ever imagined I’d be and less shy in general, which is a really phenomenal gain. Working with CARE as an advocate and fellow gave me the clarity and growth I needed and really elevated my self-esteem and self-development.
As a self-employed person, a mother and small business owner, I have these amazing opportunities that not everyone in the world has. I have a deep-seated belief that everyone has the right to be productive and support his or her family. I didn’t come from a background that focused on politics, but by working with CARE, I learned how important and imperative they are to the entire global picture. I educated myself and was educated by CARE on the many ways foreign assistance impacts lives around the globe and now I’m a huge proponent of protecting foreign aid.