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Jane Kilgore '05

Jane Kilgore is returning to Austin from South Africa after completing her MSSW degree in poverty alleviation.
She's been living in a village called Botshabelo Community Development Trust, serving mostly children, women, and families affected by poverty, HIV/AIDS, and trauma. Her journey through this master's program at UT-Austin has been filled with many memorable moments she has captured in her blog, which you can view here 
 
After graduating from St. Andrew's, Jane attended Rhodes College in Memphis, TN where she received a BA in Theatre with a minor in Psychology. Uncertain of her ideal career, she worked and saved for a year after graduation to fund a year of traveling to southern Africa, Thailand, Australia, and New Zealand. Jane recalls, "Not only was it the trip of a lifetime, but I was also lucky enough to find the career calling I'd been missing: social work."
 
Jane read an introductory social work textbook and began researching graduate programs while still in South Africa, and discovered UT had one of the Top 10 programs in the country. During the last three years in the UT program, Jane participated in two international projects (in Papua New Guinea and South Africa), interned locally with Communities in Schools, and served as a Graduate/Research Assistant for UT's Gender & Sexuality Center.
 
Jane describes her experience at Botshabelo as, "a complicated one, and I've learned a lot about topics I could not have anticipated prior to my arrival. Everything here operates in the present, with entire days often devoted to dealing with one crisis after another...The kids, however, are truly pillars of resilience. My time here has taught me so much about social justice, international development work, the power of relationship, assertiveness, shame culture, and dozens of other topics."
 
For those interested in learning more about Botshabelo, Jane recommends their dedicated website (click here), the documentary film "Angels in the Dust," as well as her own blog, though she notes she is still in the process of updating it.
 
Jane truly embodies St. Andrew's Servant pillar in the work she has decided to pursue, and we are so glad she has shared her story with us!    
 
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Located in Austin, Texas, St. Andrew’s Episcopal School is a private co-ed elementary, middle and high school for grades K-12. Students benefit from dedicated faculty, a challenging academic program, fine and performing arts, competitive athletics, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.