Peter Carr comes from a family that is no stranger to adventure.His older sister studied abroad in Uganda. His brother lived in Australia and New Zealand. And Carr, himself, spent his summer after graduating from Myers Park High School with an International Baccalaureate diploma, farming in Portugal.Now the 20-year-old sophomore at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill is traveling to India in late January to spend more than four months studying sustainable development and social change. His big challenge? Spending a month on his own outside of the study program doing an independent research project. He’s got some time to think about it.“I might want to study subsidized community-supported agriculture that’s unattainable for a lot of people,” said Carr, who lives in the Sturbridge neighborhood in south Charlotte. “I’d like to work on government-subsidized farming for lower income residents. Currently, wealthier families buy shares of a farmer’s land so that when the produce comes in, it is shared. It comes directly from the farm, is of good quality and is usually expensive. I’d like to study how it would affect their health and economic effects by increasing small farmers.” Carr is headed to Jaipur in the northwest province of Rajasthan, close to New Delhi and about 30 miles from Pakistan. He was selected for the study program with 23 other students from across the nation as part of one of the School for International Training’s (SIT) study abroad programs. SIT offers semester, summer and academic year programs for undergraduate students in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East, as well as comparative programs in multiple locations. There is a competitive application process and students are selected based on interests, an essay and grades.While living with a host family, Carr will study with professors in four different areas: Hindi (which he has been learning at UNC), distributive justice systems and the history of southeast Asia, public policy for nonprofits, and research methods for geography and city planning. The trip dovetails with his double major and his plans for the future. Carr is studying economics and geography and hopes to use his knowledge to go into natural resource management, city planning, economic development and sustainable development. Carr worked during high school for YES! (Youth Empowered Solutions!) a statewide nonprofit founded in 2007. YES! was the concept of five young adults. They realized success in creating and implementing youth-led tobacco prevention advocacy efforts across North Carolina for seven years, and saw a need for a holistic approach to adolescent health that included youth-adult partnerships and policy advocacy. The Charlotte group has tackled youth empowerment approaches to everything from healthy eating to substance abuse prevention to access to health care. Working for YES! sparked his interest in sustainable development. “My experience with YES! will help as far as my interest in policy and the environment,” said Carr, an Eagle Scout. “It will be interesting to see how that comes into play in a developing country.” Despite the long hours working in Portugal two summers ago in an organic farming and vineyard academic program, India is of great interest to the young, eager student. “I have always been interested in the country. I’m very attracted to the extremes and the program’s contents. It fits my academic and professional desires.” One thing he is not looking forward is the long trip. He’s found that the cheapest flights are non-direct and last about 28 hours. He is excited about enjoying the food, chai and attuning his yoga abilities. “I really like Indian food now,” he said. “I’m working on my heat index and up to about a medium spicy now. He is also intrigued about independent travel through the summer once the SIT program ends in mid-May. He plans to travel to Nepal, Pakistan and perhaps Thailand with money he has saved. “I’d really like to work one day for the UN on a committee for development or cultural conservation like UNESCO,” he said.
Friday, Dec. 28, 2012
Myers Park High grad heads to India
Four month period focused on ‘sustainable development’
Peter Carr will leave for India in late January to study the economics and geograpy of India.