College of Arts and Science
Bachelor of Science, May 2011
International Relations & Economics
Patricia Schneidewind studied International Relations & Economics, with an interest in promoting self-realization through education, particularly to underprivileged young women. Ultimately, she hopes to pursue a career in human rights and development, in which addressing education is just one of the many factors which help facilitate peaceful humanitarian co-existence.
As an East-German Immigrant, Patricia grew up in a household where knowledge and a politically independent education were seen as the most essential tools to an individual's freedom. Being acutely aware of her privileged schooling, she spent part of her Gap Year in South East Asia volunteering as an English Teacher at a Thai Middle School. Realizing that she had the potential to instill a sense of self-appreciation and awareness through education inspired her desire to battle social injustices through education. She organized a cross-continental school partnership between the Thai school and her International School in Germany. The partnership is intended to actively educate students from both schools about other cultures, as well as set up a network to financially assist the Thai school.
One year later, Patricia volunteered at a Tanzanian Primary School and orphanage where she experienced first-hand women's second-class status in Tanzanian society. During that time, she founded the Bakhita Girls Project. The Bakhita Girls Project is a non-profit organization which provides access to secondary school education for young mothers and underprivileged girls in Ifakara, Tanzania. The project’s mission is to assist females who face gender-based and economic injustices in realizing their potential and living dignified and self-reliant lives. The scholarships are provided to girls who come from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds and lack access to basic education.
Since finishing her degree at NYU has been in Africa, working on a ‘The Tear that Runs Inside’ a documentary project which takes an artistic glimpse at the contemporary reality of youth mired in the jigsaw puzzle of African politics, society and international relations. The documentary aims at foregrounding the complexities of what it means to be African today by capturing a collective voice and views on political, economic, environmental and social concerns, and point the way towards positive change and hope for self-determination.