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Newsmaker: LaVonda Baldwin

University of Pittsburgh senior LaVonda Baldwin, 21, of Bensalem was awarded a 2013 Thomas R. Pickering Undergraduate Foreign Affairs Fellowship.

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Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Monday, July 29, 2013, 11:18 p.m.
 

LaVonda Baldwin

Noteworthy/Achievement: Baldwin was awarded a 2013 Thomas R. Pickering Undergraduate Foreign Affairs Fellowship. The fellowship, one of 20 funded by the U.S. Department of State for students aspiring to enter the Foreign Service, will provide as much as $40,000 for Baldwin's senior year of undergraduate study and another $40,000 for one year of graduate school. Baldwin will participate in one domestic and one foreign internship and work in the foreign service for at least three years after earning her graduate degree.

Age: 21

Residence: Bensalem, Bucks County

Occupation: Student at the University of Pittsburgh.

Education: Baldwin is in her senior year at Pitt's School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. She has studied and volunteered in Ghana and Ireland. In Africa, Baldwin volunteered as a caregiver, teacher and speech pathology aide with nonprofits. In Ireland, she visited clinical and research centers related to her major in communication science and disorders. She wants to work in the State Department's Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration.

Quote: “I have learned in my 21 years on this earth that it is of no value to take the privileges of life, education, freedom and joy for granted, and this fuels my daily desire to learn how I can help others enjoy these same privileges.”

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