August 21 2014 Latest news:
Shekha Vyas, Reporter
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
A campaigner from Newham has fought competition from more than 1000 to win a prestigious fellowship examining social work in America.
Charity PR man Alvin Carpio, 26, has embarked on a six week tour of the USA to learn how community leaders help deprived and marginalised people across the pond.
He has met with political leaders as well as charity organisations on a grassroots level across New York, Boston and Washington, with his final destination scheduled as Chicago.
Alvin went through a rigorous application programme to secure the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship, which funds British travel overseas on a variety of projects.
Alvin’s interest in young people leadership stems from his involvement with east London based charity UpRising.
The charity, backed by Bethnal Green and Bow MP MP Rushunara Ali, David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband focuses on youth engagement.
He said: “The initial idea came from UpRising, but I was really interested in the fact America is still the world’s biggest power and has a very high inequality and poverty rate despite the civil rights act all those decades ago.
“I wanted to look at why there were these social problems in on of the wealthiest countries.”
Alvin added: “I think a lot of it was to do with my upbringing; being born and raised in Newham there weren’t that many opportunities. All the statistics say that Newham is not the place people can move on and do great things but actually they can.
“There was almost this duty to give back to Newham and the UpRising leadership programme changed everything.”
Alvin has also appeared on CNN and blogs for The Huffington Post news site.
He comments on his experiences in the USA via his personal blog: theexcluded.wordpress.com.