International Educator - May/June 2012 - 90
a travel agency and, after awhile, began appearing on local television and radio stations as travel experts. “We caught the attention of a local radio station,” she says. “You see? You step out on faith and pursue your passion, and everything else falls into place.” Fitzpatrick transitioned to broadcasting, and when the station was bought by a local entrepreneur who changed up the station too much, she started her own company, broadcasting about global citizenship and human trafficking digitally, under the name of World Footprints, which broadcasts and blogs online in a multimedia effort to leave “better footprints as responsible, conscientious, and responsible travelers.” That, she says, was an issue that had become dear to her heart while in China as a student. It took awhile, but she finally figured out how to make a career out of it—she calls herself a “recovering attorney.” “Doing this has brought me full circle,” she says. “My study abroad experience opened my eyes to this. One of the greatest educational experiences anyone can have is travel. There are things that studying abroad and being immersed in a culture can teach you that you’ll never get sitting in a classroom. It’s that hands-on experience.”
“My first semester in China, I studied the history of the law,” she says. “I can’t say that we in this country were much better, but I was honestly shocked at some of the earlier trials and sentences there. They’re quite brutal.” Looking back, she says, that was the start of her commitment to human rights offenses and working toward the end of human trafficking. “Our mission has always been to foster a global citizenship,” she says, pointing at her time abroad as the very start of that. And her experiences just getting onto the airplanes that would take her to new places and new cultures still factor in. “When I travel,” she says, “I try not to go with any expectations. I try to go with a very open mind. It’s about stepping out on faith, and I try to do that a lot. I’ve certainly done it with World Footprints. Everything else follows.” IE
kIM FERNaNDEZ is a freelance writer in bethesda, maryland. her last article for IE was “launching pad,” which covered english as a second language programs at community colleges, published in the intensive foreign language supplement with the march/april 2012 issue.
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