Jacob Stoehr, former staff member in Nicaragua.

From my little casita in Nicaragua, I wrote my law school entrance essays about confronting social and human rights issues in Latin America… which led me to the Inter-American Development Bank, which led me to a high powered law firm defending foreign investment and the rule of law in Latin America…and then I met my wife:), which led me to a multinational manufacturing company in Germany. The beauty of Bridges’ work is in its simplicity: meeting basic human rights and empowering both the materially wealthy and the materially poor in the process. When I left Bridges, my final speech to the communities was about how I didn’t want to work at Bridges and I didn’t even want Bridges to exist — I wanted an economy in Nicaragua that provided opportunities for good education, sustainable employment, etc, so that families could build houses on their own. Being a corporate lawyer is arguably a far cry from mixing cement and helping to put a roof over someone’s head, but my current company employs 20,000 people around the world — 20,000 people who are all able to better provide for their families, many of them in developing countries. In the end though, I think the more lasting outcome of Bridges for me has been shaping how I view the world and how I do my job. Bridges helped make me a world citizen aware of the world’s injustices, big and small.