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Ryan Trout, C'07

A Global Cause

Global Youth Connect

Ryan Trout didn’t waste any time going out into the world and making a difference once he received his degree from the Mount. He participated in a five-week human rights delegation to Rwanda through an organization called Global Youth Connect (GYC) over the summer. What he witnessed and experienced there changed his life.

His trip included two weeks working with an organization called Never Again Rwanda, which seeks to create “a future where peace in Rwanda and in the region is driven by creative, involved and critical-thinking youth.” Following that experience Ryan volunteered at a nonprofit called Amahoro Great Lakes in Kigali, where he worked with at-risk youth, including orphans and children living with HIV/AIDS.

Ryan’s experience in Rwanda has left him with a strong passion to help the people of this small East African nation, which he describes as having “a lot of promise and hope.” After his return to the United States, Ryan established his own nonprofit, Amani Africa (“amani” means peace in Swahili), which will help raise funds for grassroots aid organizations in Rwanda.

As another result of his time spent in Africa, Ryan is hoping to set up a semester or summer study program in Rwanda in partnership with the Mount. This would include not only classes about East African culture and history, but also an internship experience with a service organization there.

Over and over again while he was in Rwanda, Ryan was overcome by the “triumph of the human spirit” and the “beauty of the Rwandan people.” He explains that “these people want the same thing we want for our kids … a better place for the next generation.”

Ryan’s future plans involve volunteering with Americorps and possibly returning to Rwanda this winter with GYC. Eventually, he would like to run for office or work in the U.N. A political science major at the Mount, Ryan credits much of his interest in foreign aid to classes he took with Dr. Kristen Urban about human rights and international relations.

Ryan encourages anyone who may be interested in pursuing service work to “follow your heart. … I got a lot of grief and was told there’s no money in that, but I don’t feel like I’m going to be fulfilled by money,” he says. “I need to help people.”

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