When Mike Turner ’96 was airlifted out of Bolivia in 2008 in a military cargo plane, he wasn’t sure if he’d ever be going back. He had spent the past year in Bolivia as a volunteer in the Peace Corps but had to leave when the Peace Corps officially pulled out of the country. Once back in the U.S., Mike decided to go to graduate school at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs which propelled him into a career in climate change and international development. He then moved to D.C., to work for a climate change think tank before moving back to Colorado and starting a consulting business. For the past seven years, he has been working for the Colorado Energy Office, currently as its Director of Building Innovation and Energy Finance. In 2015, Mike and two friends from the Peace Corps went back to visit their communities in Bolivia and came across startling facts. In Bolivia, only 10% of young indigenous women vs. 81% of men go onto a secondary education. A number of conversations later, he and those same friends started a nonprofit called the Chaco Fund. The Fund’s goal is to “unlock the potential of young Bolivian women by empowering leaders, promoting self-determination, and creating advocates for rural communities.” Their approach centers around women’s education, sending Bolivian women to higher education and providing for tuition, room and board, laptops, career development and job opportunities. The ultimate goal is that these women will use their education to benefit their communities. And it’s been working. Currently, the Chaco Fund supports four scholars who will bring leadership qualities back to their communities in meaningful ways. For example, hydrology student Maribel hopes to one day guarantee the water supply of her home village. Eventually, Mike hopes to be able to expand the Fund to more scholars and additional communities.