GREENFIELD — Kara Childers could hardly contain her excitement as she prepared to buy her plane tickets to England.
Wearing a Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry T-shirt, the 22-year-old detailed her plans to visit not only historical sites around the United Kingdom but also important places from the Harry Potter book series she so enjoys.
Childers, a senior at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis majoring in psychology and sociology, will spend a semester studying abroad at the University of Derby in Derby, England, starting next month.
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She hopes the community will rally around her efforts to fulfill her dream of seeing the United Kingdom. She applied for the program months before and learned she was selected in early August, but she had started budgeting and planning before then, she said. She embarks on the adventure Sept. 7. Childers eagerly anticipates getting to experience a new culture and sightseeing.
The Greenfield native works several jobs right now and has no plans to rest on her laurels for the last semester of her college career. Childers hopes to volunteer for an animal shelter near where she’ll be living in Derby in addition to taking a full schedule of college courses, she said.
A 2012 graduate of Greenfield-Central High School, Childers has overcome several challenges while growing up. During her high school career, her family struggled with homelessness, her mother battled cancer survivor and Childers served as the primary caretaker for her sister’s two children. Her nephews still consider her one of their parent figures, said Childers’ mom, Lucia Mullis.
Mullis is most proud that her caring and nurturing daughter will be the first person in their family to graduate from college, she said.
Childers’ early life led to a passion for helping children, which she nurtures by working at the Indianapolis Children’s Bureau Family Shelter.
“I take care of the kids during weekend overnights,” she said. “With all the employees there, it ends up being like a family setting, and we work really hard to help the kids there.”
After she graduates, Childers plans to enter into the Peace Corps, a volunteer service program run by the U.S. government. After three months of training, members of the Peace Corps spend two years abroad, providing assistance and promoting cultural understanding among nations, according to the organization’s website.
Childers is not sure yet what career field she’d like to enter after her time in the Peace Corps is up, she said. All she knows is she wants to work with people — preferably kids.
Kara Childers of Greenfield is preparing to spend a semester abroad at the University of Derby, Derby, United Kingdom. She has raised more than $12,000 through budgeting, financial aid and donations from friends, family and fellow parishioners at First Presbyterian Church in Greenfield. She’s looking to the Hancock County community for help to close a $1,200 gap between the cost of the trip and how much she’s raised.
Her cousin, Julia Stump, set up an online donation page for Children through the crowdfunding website, GoFundMe.
“Kara’s life has been stressful at best and carries a full load of work, school and helping raise her nephews,” Stump wrote on the GoFundMe page. “This girl has a heart of gold, and I cannot think of anyone else that would be more deserving of this opportunity.”
Those interested in donation toward Childers’ cause can go to https://www.gofundme.com/hw12r4.