An interview with Chloe Loeffelholz, Development Manager

Caroline (she/her) is the co-founder and president of Movement for Choice (M4C). M4C raises money for Reproductive Justice through donation-based events in the Washington, D.C. area. M4C’s mission is centered on fighting for the reproductive freedom of all people – particularly BIPOC and LGBTQ individuals, who have long fought for and been denied access to reproductive care and justice. Caroline is also enrolled at George Washington University’s Trachtenberg School to earn her Master’s of Public Administration. Caroline is a shining example of the incredible impact TTS Alumni are making in the world!

How did your Traveling School semester impact you?

The Traveling School instilled a deep sense of independence and curiosity in me. I grew up in a relatively sheltered environment where most of my travel was with family to familiar places. During my Traveling School semester, I was taken out of my element and surrounded by such courageous, adventurous women who challenged me to dream beyond my horizons. I realized that there is so much more to explore and learn, if I only stepped out of my comfort zone.

In what contexts does The Traveling School come up in your life now?

Whether it be referencing an experience I had during my semester that changed my perspective, or conjuring the leadership skills I learned as the president of Movement for Choice, my time with TTS continues to come up regularly in my life. I founded M4C alongside my cofounder, Tyler Brent, after the reversal of Roe v Wade in 2022 as a way to bring together a community of equally enraged and passionate femmes to fight back against injustice.

During my semester in South America, I met many young women who had children at a very young age, forgoing much of their education to become mothers. I remember being asked by an older man I met during our homestay in Ecuador why I didn’t have children or a husband at my age. These questions stunned me, as they were things I never even considered at fifteen. This interaction brought into stark contrast the privilege that I have for never having to choose between becoming a mother one day and pursuing my educational and career goals. I realized how much I had taken this freedom for granted.

Is there a specific lesson from your semester that sticks with you today?

The assigned reading “To Hell with Good Intentions” by the Austrian Roman Catholic priest Ivan Illich sticks with me. This was a transcript of a speech given by Illich in 1968 to a group of missionaries about to embark on a service trip to Mexico. The group was expecting the speech to inspire and motivate them before their big endeavor, but instead, Illich chastised them for their misplaced intentions.

In the address, Illich states, “I am here to tell you, if possible to convince you, and hopefully, to stop you, from pretentiously imposing yourselves on Mexicans…. I am here to entreat you to use your money, your status and your education to travel in Latin America. Come to look, come to climb our mountains, to enjoy our flowers. Come to study. But do not come to help.” Reading his powerful message at the beginning of the semester framed my entire experience, and all future travel in the years since.

Did The Traveling School equip you to become a strong leader?

Yes, absolutely! I took part in the Traveling School at age 15, when I was still developing my own identity and sense of self. I was deeply inspired by the incredible teachers who lead our travels with confidence, kindness, compassion, and love. Today, I always aim to emulate this leadership style – which is rarely represented in the figures we learn about in history, but I believe (and hope) to be the future as we continue to see more diverse leaders emerge.

Interested in exploring more alumni stories? Check out The Traveling School’s 2023 Impact Report