In the summer of
2006, Patrick Cook-Deegan bicycled 2,800 miles across Laos, Cambodia, and Burma
in order to raise $22,500 to build a primary school in Laos and provide two K-12
scholarships for girls in Cambodia. Patrick accomplished this by working with
the acclaimed organization Room to Read, which supports education development
throughout Asia and Africa.
Patrick spent a month in Burma while cycling
through Southeast Asia. Here he managed to venture through a Burmese military base,
meet with underground democracy activists, and see hundreds of Burmese forced laborers.
These powerful experiences catalyzed Patrick's involvement in Burma's democracy movement.
In 2010, Patrick's studied Burma's democracy movement while living on the Thai-Burma
border on a Fulbright scholarship. Currently, Patrick works full time at
the US Campaign for Burma as the Director of Strategic Partnerships.
After returning to his senior year in the fall of 2007,
Patrick met other Brown students who were creating and leading innovative
organizations in an effort to combat social injustice. Later that year, Patrick
and his peers founded the Brown Social Innovation Initiative (SII). The goal of
SII is to incubate social entrepreneurship amongst Brown undergraduates and
alumni, connecting them to the burgeoning movement of social entrepreneurship
around the globe.
bicycle trip, Patrick took the year off from Brown and spoke to over 40 schools
about his journey and the importance of global citizenship. While speaking,
Patrick met students who wanted to become more involved in international issues
first-hand but were financially constrained. In response, Patrick started a
non-profit called Transform Abroad. This organization sent 6 low-income
American high school students abroad during the summer of 2007 to volunteer in a
developing country. Patrick is currently working to recruit students for a new
gap-year program called Global Citizen Year.