On July 24, 2018, our Founder & CEO Karen Spencer received an Honorary Fellowship from the University of Northampton. This honor acknowledged her impact as a social entrepreneur for her work and dedication at Whole Child International by improving care for vulnerable children around the world.

“To be recognized in this way is a wonderful and humbling personal honor, but I’m also proud that the work of everyone at Whole Child is being recognized in this way by such a fine academic institution as the University of Northampton,” said Karen of this special opportunity.

In 2013, Ashoka chose the University of Northampton to be a “Changemaker Campus” focused on encouraging students to tackle social problems throughout their undergraduate experience, and as part of their growing careers. Karen’s position as an Ashoka Fellow made her especially proud to speak to this graduating class of young changemakers.

Dr. Eunice Lumsden, Head of Early Years at the University of Northampton, was quoted as saying: “Countess Spencer is a true ‘changemaker’ in every sense and a pioneer in her work with the world’s most vulnerable children. Her contribution to enriching the life of others is immense and her knowledge about the importance of a holistic approach to early childhood is outstanding.”

In her remarks addressing the faculty, staff, and 2018 graduating class, Karen thanked the university and shared encouragement with attendees. Karen advised the graduates to pursue their dreams, regardless of possible humble beginnings or any failures along the way. She offered challenging yet important advice by saying, “Embrace your own failures. Within my biggest failures was the knowledge and experience that led to my biggest successes.”

Pictured: Karen Spencer receiving her diploma, and posing with Reverend Richard Coles, Charles Spencer, and Vice Chancellor Nick Petford.