Lydia Grate has been announced as a recipient of the Catholic Relief Services International Development Fellowship.
The CRS International Development Fellows Program prepares dedicated global citizens to pursue careers in international relief and development work. The Fellows Program is designed for individuals dedicated to a career in international development, with a focus on program management or operations. Grate will be placed in Antananarivo, Madagascar for 12 months with an anticipated start date of August 1.
“In my application for the Clinton School, I wrote that my goal after graduation was to become a project manager for an international development organization,” said Grate, who was one of 12 recipients selected for the fellowship program from more than 1,700 applicants. “This fellowship puts me directly on that path.”
CRS is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The organization works to save, protect, and transform lives in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion, or nationality. Its relief and development work is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance, and peacebuilding.
CRS’s guiding principle of solidarity states: We are all part of one human family — whatever our national, racial, religious, economic or ideological differences — and in an increasingly interconnected world, loving our neighbor has global dimensions. “While I align with the guiding principles of CRS, as an agnostic-atheist, I especially appreciate their emphasis on diversity,” Grate said.
Grate, who will graduate with her Master of Public Service in May, was the recipient of the 2020 Little Rock Nine Scholarship. In June 2020, she was one of 39 women selected nationally as members of the 2020 B.A. EmpowHER cohort, a program created by the B.A. Women’s Alliance for women who are bold, unapologetic, and ready to spark change. She completed summer internships with Global G.L.O.W. (Girls Leading Our World) and St. Joseph Center of Arkansas.
“I wouldn’t have achieved this without the support, guidance, and curriculum at the Clinton School of Public Service,” Grate said. “The faculty and staff are incredible, and the coursework allowed me to work on projects that developed my skills in research, writing, and monitoring and evaluation.”
A native of Russellville, Ark., Grate is a Peace Corps alum and a graduate of Arkansas Tech University with degrees in broadcast journalism, public relations, and speech communications.