Class Notes: Amanda Torres ('07)
The Making of a Lifetime Humanitarian
by Kayla Bernard (’07)
Going on the May term trip to Thailand with Peter Ingle and Han Kim changed the entire direction of Amanda Torres (’13) life. “Before I took that class, I thought I needed to have a big fancy job with a big fancy salary to be happy; then I realized that what I really wanted to do was make a difference in people’s lives,” says Amanda.
After going on the Thailand May term trip twice, Amanda earned an internship with Youthlinc, a local organization dedicated to creating lifetime humanitarians by offering students and mentors local and international service experiences. Each Youthlinc trip has team leaders who oversee different committees. As the team lead for the health committee, Amanda wanted to teach sex education to the young women in Guatemala.
“Guatemala is very different from Thailand in that Thailand has a very strong sex education program and highly advocates condom use,” says Amanda.
Guatemala is a predominantly Catholic country and does not have programs to teach youth about contraception.
“Teaching kids about condoms would not be well-received in Guatemala, so I decided to teach them the rhythm method of birth control using fertility bracelets to give these girls some measure of control over their own reproductive health.”
Fertility bracelets are a collection of different colored beads worn around the wrist. A woman can use beads as a low-tech counting device to track the stages of her monthly cycle. Amanda purchased approximately $50 worth of supplies at a craft store and taught the girls how to make their own fertility bracelets. She’s been able to empower hundreds of young women in Guatemala and Peru; the supplies will also be going with Amanda to Kenya this summer. Amanda now works full-time for Youthlinc as a community liaison and volunteers her time at the Hser Ner Moo Community and Welcome Center in South Salt Lake.
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