Last spring, sophomore Ricky Costas-Hernandez was awarded a Jeannette K. Watson Fellowship in recognition of his academic achievements, his penchant for storytelling, and his desire to lead the global fight against food insecurity and malnutrition. The three-year fellowship provides students with valuable mentorships and internships (one local and two abroad), plus up to $27,000 per year in stipends.

With those opportunities at hand, the English major with a double minor in Spanish and anthropology and archaeology says that he’s ready to take on the world.

“I’m using the Watson Fellowship to feel around for the right career. I chose my major and minors because they allow me to explore a lot of different industries as well, so I think that the two will pair well together,” Costas-Hernandez says.

This past summer, he completed his first fellowship-facilitated internship at the Institute of International Education, in New York City, where he collaborated with the communications team on a storytelling campaign. Each day, he crafted marketing content to highlight grantees of the organization’s Artists Protection Fund, Scholar Rescue Fund, and Odyssey Scholarship—programs in which U.S. universities sponsor artists, scholars, and students in danger so that they can continue their pursuits.

“It was a really valuable experience,” he says, adding that he feels thankful to have had the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of many.

In his next internship, which will be abroad, he will pivot his attention to global food insecurity and nutrition, inspired by his family ties. Not only was his father a chef who exposed him to a variety of food, but he also had witnessed the effects of food insecurity and scarce nutritional options whenever he traveled to see his family in an underdeveloped area of Puerto Rico.

“The lack of nutrition options strikes me every single time I’m there,” says Costas-Hernandez. “There are a lot of sick people.”

He’s eyeing organizations like the World Food Programme in Rome, the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition in Switzerland, and Nutrition International, which has offices in Canada, Africa, and Asia.

This semester, he’s working at the Magner Career Center as a career ambassador and marketing communications assistant. In his new role, he empowers students to succeed in their careers by critiquing their résumés and helping them apply to fellowships like Watson. He also gets to flex his marketing skills each day by helping to increase student participation in programs or events, like the Job Fair, through face-to-face and digital communications.

“I want to use my skills, what I’ve learned in my classes and internships, and my experience to make positive change,” he says.