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Ivan Villasboa Alumni

There's no question my experience at DePauw made me the person I am today.

Living with purpose

While I was growing up in Argentina, I dreamed of becoming a big-city banker in the United States — the kind you see sitting at the top of a skyscraper in movies. DePauw was going to be my path to get there. I studied economics and political science only a short distance from Chicago, where I thought my dream would play out. But something changed along the way.

As a senior, I traveled on a Winter Term trip to El Salvador, which had just emerged from a long and terrible civil war. The experience opened something inside me I didn't understand until that trip. By the time we left, I knew I wanted to spend my life helping people whose lives had been overturned by war and poverty.

And that's what I've done. As program director for a humanitarian organization, I've helped to bring education and drinking water to mountain villages in Central America. I didn't become a banker. I don't have an office overlooking Chicago or New York or San Francisco. But I did find my true purpose in life.