‘Not a party issue’

Madeleine Buchholz

As a transfer student, junior Madeleine Buchholz (De Pere, WI) was looking for two things at the University of Minnesota: a supportive environment and a way to make a difference on campus.

She found both at a U2 rock concert, where she discovered the ONE Campaign—a nonprofit (cofounded by U2’s Bono) working to end extreme poverty and preventable disease.

A political science major, Buchholz saw that her interests in international development and education fit with ONE’s mission—yet the U of M didn’t have a chapter of ONE.

Undeterred, she built a coalition of students, professors, and administrators across campus that today hosts events and conversations on issues surrounding poverty and education.

“Knowledge is an empowering force. Education empowers and inspires people to get out of poverty by their own means,” she says.

Through her leadership with ONE, Buchholz has seen opportunities open up for her.

Recently, she traveled to the nation’s capitol to support the BUILD Act, which puts private-sector dollars to work in developing countries for building infrastructure, starting businesses, and creating jobs.

Buchholz was even able to meet with staff of Minnesota Senators Tina Smith and Amy Klobuchar, as well as Congressmen Tom Emmer and Keith Ellison.

“Being able to lobby people who can make a difference on such a large scale ... was a life-changing experience,” she says.

This summer, Buchholz is interning with the ONE Campaign in Washington, D.C.—an experience that she looks forward to bringing back to the University of Minnesota community.

She says that on campus, ONE’s mission is not only to discuss poverty around the world, but to separate it from politics.

“Poverty is a people issue, not a party issue,” she says.

An original version of this story was written by an undergraduate student in CLAgency.

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities