Vidhi Trivedi

MPS, Global Development
  • Hometown: Coral Springs, Florida
  • College attended and major: University of Maryland College Park - MEd in School Counseling (focus on urban school counseling) and Florida Atlantic University - BA in Psychology; Minor in Sociology
What are the big challenges you want to tackle in the world?

I would like to focus my efforts on providing education services to vulnerable populations globally.

What were you doing before the MPS program?

Currently, I work at Cornell University as an Admissions and Application Coordinator on the MBA Admissions team. In this role, I work to increase the representation of women and underrepresented minorities in business fields.

Previously, I provided mental health counseling services to students in Title I (federally funded lower-income) schools in Prince George’s County, MD. As a school counselor, I identified systemic issues in school settings that further marginalized African-American/Black and Hispanic/Latino students and created programs to address these issues. I also worked closely with students experiencing homelessness to provide stability services including housing, food, mental health counseling, and access to education.

Before that, I was a science teacher and worked with students with learning disabilities. After knowing my students, I suggested learning accommodations and tailored curricula to meet the needs of the students. During my time at UMD, I worked with the Way2Work Maryland lab to match high school students with disabilities with work-based learning experiences to improve career opportunities after graduation.

Internationally, I worked with Lha Charitable Trust in Dharamshala, India, as an English teacher for the Tibetan refugee population. In this role, I worked closely with Tibetan Buddhist monks so they could grasp the fundamentals of the English language to translate Tibetan Buddhist scriptures into English in preservation efforts.

Tell us a fun fact about you.

While I was never a cat person growing up, I have two cats now!

What does global development mean to you?

To me, global development is strongly linked to education. I believe education empowers individuals to take action and advance their community in a way that is culturally significant to them. With that being said, I believe that in order for education to be accessible, the fundamental needs of a community, like food security, need to be established first. Global development means providing equitable services to areas in need so the community can be can be safe, successful, and happy.

What has been the most memorable or impactful experience of your career so far?

The most memorable and impactful experience I had was working with undocumented students in a lower-income Maryland high school. In my role as a school counselor, I created small group counseling sessions for first-generation undocumented students. In these sessions, I encouraged them to explore their feelings around attending college. These counseling sessions continued throughout a semester and culminated with the students willingly applying for internships at local universities. Often undocumented students, especially those that are first-generation, are not exposed to immersive higher education opportunities. This exposure led the students in the group to believe that higher education was a possibility for them.

How do you envision your MPS degree contributing to your career?

I plan to utilize my MPS degree to bridge the gap between my education experience and interest in working with NGOs and non-profit organizations in rural areas internationally. With this degree, I would like to provide education programming to vulnerable populations in global communities.