She first developed an interest in humanitarian work in high school, after listening to a speech given by Dr. James Orbinski, president of Doctors without Borders. She also won the United States Institute of Peace National Peace Essay Contest in 1998, for her essay on “The Changing Nature of Violent International Conflict in the Post Cold-War Era.” After arriving at Amherst, Godwin started looking for opportunities to engage in humanitarian work.
“I read about Kimmie Weeks in the newspaper and I knew him … so when I decided to volunteer in humanitarian work abroad, I went to Kimmie to see if he could recommend some of the organizations that he thought were good,” said Godwin. It was from those discussions that YAI was born.
YAI uses thousands of volunteers in seven countries to tackle projects, such as Adopt-a-School International and a project to raise awareness about child soldiers and children’s disarmament in war-torn countries.
“It’s been an inspiration working with Sarah Godwin,” said Weeks. “Her passion and persuasion has led to establishing one of the fastest growing youth organizations of today. Sarah’s spirit, determination and kindness make her a unique person, invaluable workmate and wonderful friend.”
While actively involved with YAI, Godwin also plays golf with the College team. She would like to continue her humanitarian interests with a career in international human rights or with the United Nations.