McKendree’s Alayna Gillespie is Selected for Oxfam Leadership Program

Lebanon, Ill. — McKendree University junior Alayna Gillespie, a sociology major from Highland, is one of 50 U.S. college students that will participate in Oxfam America’s CHANGE Initiative, a competitive national program. She will attend a week of training in leadership, advocacy and organizing at Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, Mass., from July 20 to 26.

Oxfam America is an affiliate of Oxfam International, a relief and development organization working in more than 90 countries worldwide. The name “Oxfam” comes from the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief, founded in Great Britain in 1942. The CHANGE Initiative trains college students to become actively engaged in its mission. Student leaders address social justices such as hunger and poverty by organizing campus activities such as an annual “Hunger Banquet,” canned food drives, a benefit concert and more.

“As a CHANGE leader, it is my job to increase student involvement in service,” Gillespie said. “I hope to use my training as a way to better the programs McKendree already offers.” She added that she hopes to improve student turnout for this fall’s Hunger and Homelessness Awareness week events and to start an Oxfam club on campus.

At McKendree, she is a New Student Orientation Leader, a coordinator for the Family Living Center, the Into the Streets program and Global Youth Service Day, a member of Kappa Sigma Tau, the McKendree Community Action team and the Lyn Huxford Center for Community Service.