WSU student fights poverty with social media

Senior advocates for those in poverty; suggests free ways others can support her cause

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COURTESY OF NATHALIE APS

Despite COVID-19 being on the forefront of concerns, WSU senior Nathalie Aps wanted to raise awareness about ongoing issues like global poverty.

ANNIE HAGER, Evergreen reporter

She needed an internship.

Nathalie Aps was just starting her search to find a nonprofit in need of help when she stumbled upon The Borgen Project. Aps, senior advertising and criminal justice and criminology double major with a minor in French, is now an advocate intern for the project.

Since the project was created in 2003, volunteers at The Borgen Project have strived to be influential allies for impoverished areas worldwide. Interns also work to raise awareness about poverty, she said.

“I want to be involved in the decision making of how companies represent themselves,” Aps said.

When COVID-19 began, everything started to center around the pandemic to help reduce the spread of the virus. Yet other global problems, like poverty, persisted and people set them to the side, she said.

“Poverty was already happening before the pandemic happened,” she said. “It doesn’t just pause.”

Tressie Evans, The Borgen Project public relations marketing team member, oversees interns in the project and recruits new advocates.

“When you feed people really a beautiful thing happens – they’re healthier,” Evans said. “They contribute to their economy, they create communities and after a few years they become middle-class consumers.”

There are countless amount of ways someone can get involved in helping people experiencing poverty in many countries without having to spend any money, Aps said.

Lack of resources impacts people in developing countries, and taking action is as simple as calling or emailing Congressmembers, she said.

“Whether we donate or not, we still need our policies to be influenced, and we still need our policies to get that money,” Aps said.

Every time Congress gets a call or email supporting a certain act, they tally it, she said.

“After a certain amount of time, they sit down and look at how many tallies they have,” Aps said. “The ones with the highest amount of tallies, they will try to make a change to that policy.”

When Aps began her internship for the project, she said she discovered many countries do not have the resources for universities.

“I was just so profoundly affected by learning from The Borgen Project how tied in global poverty was,” Evans said.

Aps focuses on advocating for The Borgen Project by raising awareness and advocating on her social media page. She created a separate Instagram account called Nathalie Fights Poverty to raise awareness for poverty, feminism and immigration. 

“When you think about it, they are just people born in the wrong place,” Aps said. “They didn’t choose to live in poverty.”