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AUP graduation ceremony at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris.


Linda Lockhart of Global Giveback Circle

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On September 25, the Outreach and Advancement Office hosted Linda Lockhart, founder and CEO of Global Giveback Circle for a moving and empowering talk on the origins and work of her organization.

The Global Giveback Circle is a non-profit working to help the world’s most disadvantaged girls through a unique mentorship program that harnesses the time and talents of women globally, to help them transition from the circle of poverty to one of independence, participation and fulfillment.

Lockhart, the wife of AUP alumnus Bob Hertzka ’68, created the organization after multiple work trips to Kenya, where she witnessed the unsustainable nature of many existing women’s education and empowerment programs. “A few years ago, I was wondering what I could do to give back. I had a charmed life…living in Paris and working as a director for a company which leads large organizations through cultural transformation processes,” Lockhart writes on the Global Giveback Circle website, “in January of 2006 I went on my traditional pilgrimage ‘sale time’ shopping spree to Florence and I bought too many pairs of shoes; far too many pairs of shoes for one person. I sat in my hotel room, looking at the designer boxes, and reflected on what I learned on my last business trip to Africa; that after high school graduation, a poor girl hands in her uniform and big black shoes and walks back into the circle of poverty.”

That same year, in 2006, Lockhart founded the Global Giveback Circle, leveraging her international work assignments in Africa to travel around Kenya and find the right partners. Since then, it has grown exponentially to a team of almost 1,200 ‘girlfriends’ –as Lockhart describes the mentors– in twenty-nine countries.

The inspirational talk was followed by a lively question and answer session with students and members of the AUP community. Afterwards, attendees gathered in the AMEX Cafe for a drink where they were joined by students and alumni who had come to campus to hear AUP alumna Lory Martinez record a podcast in honor of International Podcast Day.

Find out more about Linda Lockhart and Global Giveback Circle