Carthage transfer student finds calling in community service

Nathan ClarkNathan Clark knew to be smart and strategic when it came to financing his higher education.

He began his studies at a public university, joining the Wisconsin Army National Guard to help him pay for tuition. Through military aid, scholarships for transfer students, and the Wisconsin Grant, Nathan found it possible to move on to the school of his choice, Carthage College.

“I’m very thankful they allowed me the opportunity to show what I had to offer the college and receive such a generous award. I would never have been able to experience some of the events that have changed my life and are shaping my future without this help,” said Nathan.

At Carthage, Nathan and joined Enactus, a nonprofit organization that allows students to engage in free enterprise. In his first semester, Nathan and his peers earned third place at the national exposition — although Nathan modestly insists that he didn’t contribute that much as a newcomer.

His confidence is more brightly seen in regard to his volunteer work in South Africa. Nathan caught wind of a fundraiser some students were planning for a school they had visited on a previous study tour to the country. They had seen what the Nkume Primary School was lacking: a safe play area, water, hygienic products, and much more.

Inspired, Nathan helped his peers raise $10,000, and he traveled with the group to South Africa the following summer. A new play yard was built, the sanitation system was repaired, and desks and classrooms were repurposed. Afterward, Nathan and his fellow students saw that there was still much they could do to help.

What started as a small volunteer group in the summer evolved into a new Carthage student organization: The Future of Africa. In spring 2019, Nathan was elected president of the club.

“The club and its work are my number one priority,” he said. “We are going back to Nkume this June, having fundraised over $14,000 so far in my first year as president of the organization, and I am extremely excited for its future potential.”

Nathan entered Carthage as a biology and neuroscience double-major, but as a result of experience in Africa, he changed his major to international political economy. After his graduation (anticipated in 2021), Nathan intends to go into public service, either local or international. His decision depends on where the need is greatest and where he can help the most.

“I never would have been able to have been given this amazing opportunity to lead such an important mission if I were not given the financial aid to continue my educational journey to Carthage,” he said. “Everything I was able to experience within my first semester as a Carthaginian, such as going to nationals with Enactus, going to South Africa, and starting a club, shows me that I made the right choice in investing in my education.”

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