How Global Travel Influenced Barbara Pierce Bush and Now She’s Changing the World

Former First Lady Bush and Daughter Barbara Pierce Bush Speak During AARP's Life@50+ in Boston, May 9, 2014
Former First Lady Bush and Daughter Barbara Pierce Bush Speak During AARP's Life@50+ in Boston, May 9, 2014
Former First Lady Bush and Daughter Barbara Pierce Bush Speak During AARP’s Life@50+ in Boston, May 9, 2014

Sitting down with her mother former First Lady Laura Bush and journalist Soledad O’Brien, Barbara Pierce Bush spoke to the AARP Life@50+ Boston audience earlier this spring discussing how being a president’s daughter shaped her life. Some of what she said echoed what I heard Jenna Bush Hager say in Sarasota earlier this year.

“I got to travel when I was young,” Ms. Bush told the audience and added without the opportunity, “I probably would not have gotten into global health.”

She explained how she was an architecture major in college but after traveling, she was inspired to pursue global health after graduation. With five others, she co-founded Global Health Corps in 2008 and today she’s the organization’s CEO.

Barbara Pierce Bush said Global Health Corps is something she is “excited about everyday.”

“When I was 20 I got exposed to really effective great global health programs that proved to me that even though issues like HIV, maternal health, diabetes and obesity are huge problems they are completely solvable,” and said, “I’m thankful for being able to travel the world with my parents and see others solve problems.”

Using Creativity to Solve Global Health Issues
Ms. Bush explained GHC’s fellowship program to recruit young leaders to serve in global health for a year. They serve in their field of work in communities where global health challenges exist. “The organization invests in their leadership and professional development knowing they have their entire careers ahead.”

GHC works with several organizations to place fellows in job areas ranging from communications to human resources to strategic planning. Currently, fellowships are available in the U.S. and several African nations.

“We want them to work on solving global health challenges for their whole lives,” Ms. Bush said. “What’s been so exciting is we receive thousands of applications from young people who want to use creativity. Programs want fresh ways of thinking to solve problems they are working on.”

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Travel Fosters Pockets of Peace
As I truly believe and often share on this blog, travel bridges cultural understanding. If Barbara Pierce Bush wasn’t exposed to world travel when she was younger, where would she be today? She’d probably be designing some pretty nifty buildings. With the privilege and opportunity to travel, she found her calling and is making a positive impact in improving our world.

Interested in a Global Health Corps fellowship? You must be 30 or younger at the beginning of the fellowship, have an undergraduate university degree and be proficient in English. Visit the website for additional information and application deadlines.




Jennifer A. Huber is an award-winning travel and outdoor blogger and writer in Southwest Florida. Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., a hiking trail led her to a career path in the tourism industry for more than 30 years. She spent a decade with a park management company in Yellowstone, Death Valley, and Everglades National Parks. She founded the travel blog, with the goal of inspiring others to travel alone, not lonely. The unexpected death of her former husband in 2008 reminded her how short life is. His passing was a catalyst for sharing her experiences with the goal of inspiring and empowering others to travel solo. Jennifer holds a Travel Marketing Professional certification from the Southeast Tourism Society, is a certified food judge, member of the NASA Social community, and alum of the FBI Citizens Academy. When not traveling, she is either in the kitchen, practicing her photography skills, or road tripping with her dog, Radcliff.

That's me, Solo Travel Girl, swimming in Weeki Wachee Springs. Photo: Tammy Middleton/Studios Middleton
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