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Julia's Trip

“If you ever want to do something really important in life, make a big impact on the world, don’t be afraid that you lack the ability to do it. You are way stronger and more talented than you think.” - Julia Gorman

Julia Gorman, a PhD student majoring in neurosciences and neural engineering at the University of California, San Diego, joined the KiloWatts for Humanity (KWH) team in 2019. Shortly afterward, she was given the chance to travel to Cheeba, Zambia. There, she volunteered on KWH’s implementation and data acquisition teams on a 3-kilowatt energy

kiosk. The energy kiosk is owned and operated by the Lower Kafue Women’s Center (a women’s group within the Cheeba community). She remembered, “I really enjoyed my experience with KWH. Everyone was so kind, and the work was so interesting. I even loved going to the meetings!”

While in Zambia, Julia made a point of getting to know the people living there. She said, “I think getting to know the people of the community was probably the highlight of my trip. It was really nice connecting with them personally. Through them, I would learn about the village's history, how they took care of their cows, about their different traditions. They made us lunch, so we got to experience some wonderful food that I'd never heard of before. It was all awesome.”

Julia particularly enjoyed her time with the children. She said: “The children loved hanging out with us. We played soccer with them sometimes. They would dance for us and then ask us to show them some of our dances. It turned out to be a lot of fun.”

When her trip to Zambia ended, and she returned home to Seattle, Julia reflected back on her experience and how it changed her. “My experience in Zambia gave me the opportunity to explore my ability to actively help people, make a direct impact on their lives. That was something I had never thought I would really be able to do in my life. I am now much more confident in my abilities.”

If anyone were to ask Julia about being a part of the KWH team in Zambia, or elsewhere, her response would be, “Do it! Don’t be afraid to take yourself out of the comfort zone and explore new things!”

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