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Global Spotlight: Amy Dingler

November 26, 2018 • Erin Reitz • No Comments

Amy Dingler spent a year before college volunteering abroad through UNC’s Global Gap Year Fellowship as a teacher, hospice worker, and marine ecologist before stepping onto campus as a Covenant Scholar and Bonner Leader. Discover how these diverse global service experiences strengthened her heart for service and propelled her to her work for a social impact investment fund.


What drew you to applying to the first Global Gap Year program?
A lot of things attracted me to applying for the Global Gap Year program, but if I had to boil it down to one thing, it would be curiosity. I was curious to learn about the world beyond Fayetteville, Georgia, where I grew up. I was curious about myself: In what ways would the year change me? In what ways would it not change me? And how would the answers to both of those questions shape who I would become? I was curious about what it meant to serve others on my gap year.

Amy working with a patient named Soni at the Kalighat Hospice.

What’s a lesson you learned during your gap year that stuck with you through your college career and beyond?
I always find myself reflecting on what I would call the “little impact” that I had on the people around me during my gap year (and that they had on me). In Kolkata, India I volunteered in a hospice where many people were near the end of their lives. I did simple tasks like helping people practice walking off their crutches or feeding those who were not able to feed themselves during lunch. During my third week, some of the patients started recognizing me and would wave when I arrived in the morning (even though we did not speak the same language).

Since graduating from UNC, I reflect often on this “little impact.” There is a quote by St. Terese de Lisieux that I read during my gap year and often revisit: “The splendor of the rose and the whiteness of the lily do not rob the little violet of it’s scent nor the daisy of its simple charm. If every tiny flower wanted to be a rose, spring would lose its loveliness.”

You were exposed to so many different types of people, places, and problems at a relatively young age through the Global Gap Year Fellowship & Bonner Leaders Program. How has this influenced who you are today?
To this day, I’ll tell people that taking a gap year was the best decision I’ve made thus far in life (and I’ll stick to this)! These experiences influenced me in so many ways. For starters, since my service work during my Gap Year and in the Bonners Leaders Program, I’ve always been committed to volunteering and giving back. Through these programs I learned to put myself in the shoes of people who are different from me and really try to empathize with their point of view (without judgement or preconceptions). After graduation, I lived in Atlanta for two years and was a mentor to a high schooler through the Big Brothers and Big Sisters Program. I also volunteered at a non-profit, El Refugio, that provides hospitality and visitation ministries for immigrants held at the Stewart Detention Center.

What advice do you have for other first-generation college students as they begin their journey at UNC?
Set a clear list of your priorities to help you make trade-offs when you’re faced with decisions on how to spend your time.

Tell us a little bit about the work that you’re doing now with Rise Labs.
At Rise Labs, our mission is to increase the amount and effectiveness of capital allocation for positive social and environmental good. All capital allocation has an impact – some positive, some negative. We have historically been poor at pricing those impacts in investment decisions. We believe that we can improve how financial markets account for and take responsibility for the complete impact that capital has on the world. To achieve this mission, we serve capital allocators of all types by helping them apply rigorous methodologies to assess, value, and underwrite the complete impact of their potential investments.

What does the Campus Y mean to you?
The Campus Y is a place where you can become a better version of yourself by helping others.

This November, we’re spotlighting current students and alumni who exemplify the Campus Y’s commitment to creating positive impact locally and globally. Please consider a Giving Tuesday donation of $5, $15.80, $158, or $1,580 to help us continue supporting students as they make a difference during their four years at Carolina and beyond.

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