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Speaker challenges students to think global

Rudy Carrasco holds many titles; from writer, minister, Hispanic Scholarship Funds Hall of Fame holder, to community developer.

Partners Worldwide associate, Carrasco, discussed how to combat poverty and shared his own personal journey with John Brown University at chapel this previous Thursday.

Carrasco works with Partners Worldwide to plant businesses in impoverished neighborhoods in order to provide permanent employment for the community.

“Amazing,” freshman Brianna Porter said about Carrasco’s speech in chapel. “He really was able to keep me engaged in his story. It is encouraging how he did not have much and now he is helping people out of the same situations that he experienced.”

“I felt that his message challenged me to think about global issues,” said freshman Alanna Kraybill.

Carrasco’s passion for helping others was shaped by his sister, who, when she was 20, raised him and his two siblings after their mother passed away.

“Her own commitment to Christ was a big deal. So whenever I was struggling with something, it was her strong faith and purpose that helped me and that had a wave of influence on me,” Carrasco said.

“Also, by her being a math major, she tended to look at relationships in a methodical way. She would say ‘you have to look at the problem, break it into pieces, and then handle the problem piece by piece.’ It was frustrating then, but it helped me throughout my life,” Carrasco said.

Carrasco’s sister, through her actions, also taught him how to overcome adversity.

She was enrolled at Yale University when their mother became ill, so she left her education to stay home and take over raising her siblings. She took a job at a dry cleaner and was robbed there, but continued to return to work every day in order to feed her siblings.

“I had a huge advantage in life because she was amazing. She is the original honey badger,” Carrasco said.

Carrasco’s sister not only motivated him to take education seriously, especially concerning college, but also encouraged him to seek his own relationship with Christ.

“My sister told me there are three things you have to do in life. Two of them I can make you do, but one of them you have to choose to do. The first one is you have to go to college and get some sort of degree. The second is you have to know English. The last one is you have to give everything to Christ,” Carrasco said.

While his sister a huge inspiration to him, she was not the only one who affected him so strongly. A man named Arlen mentored Carrasco when he was 10. The interaction between the two was awkward, but Arlen left a lasting impression on him.

“He was vulnerable. I could tell that he was doing it because of Christ and because he genuinely wanted to help me. I believe being vulnerable is a good thing. I am impressed by a speaker who is able to share a part of humanity with the audience,” Carrasco said.