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Evangel business grad out to change world

April 19, 2012 | Valorie Coleman

Bianca Flokstra is working to change the world, and she has already made progress in the six years since she graduated from Evangel University with a degree in management and marketing.

“Everyone can help anyone, anywhere,” she says.

What exactly does she mean?

Flokstra is focusing her skills on international economic development — in simple terms, she wants to help people raise their standard of living.

“Obviously the No. 1 thing is to feed them,” she says.

Feeding the world’s hungry may seem like a daunting task, but Flokstra believes in the power of one.

As soon as she graduated, she spent two years with the Peace Corps in Burkina Faso, West Africa, living alone with no running water and no electricity.

“It was lonely sometimes, but who else gets to have that experience?” she asks. “They were the most generous people I have ever met.”

Upon returning to the United States, Flokstra earned a master’s degree in international economic development from Eastern University in Philadelphia.

She then worked with World Vision for two years, overseeing development programs in Southeast Asia.

Last week, she headed back to Africa for a development assignment with Samaritan’s Purse, where she will continue teaching people to support themselves through sustainable businesses.

Flokstra developed her global worldview as she grew up in the Philippines, the daughter of missionaries.

Her first year in the United States was her first year in high school. Then she went to Evangel University.

“The Evangel experience was key. The hands-on opportunities, especially through SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise), were huge.” One such opportunity was a study tour to China to help farmers in Tibet.

“That trip is the foundation for what I am doing now,” she says.

Wherever she goes, she takes a love for people and a vision for change.

— Written by Valorie Coleman, assistant director of public relations for Evangel University.

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