One of the biggest keys to personal growth is surrounding yourself with people that inspire it, and the amount of intellectual diversity I come across here is insane.
- Class of
- International Studies
For Kristofer Madu, maintaining a global perspective isn't just part of being an international studies major. It's a way of life.
The Johns Hopkins University student is also a recording artist with two hip-hop albums and dozens of singles and videos released under his stage name, Travis Karter. When not in class, he spends much of his time in the university's Digital Media Center, where he records, collaborates with other musicians, and mixes and produces his albums.
All proceeds from his streaming, record, and merchandise sales go to support Water Is the Answer, the nonprofit he founded in 2015 to help rural communities in Nigeria construct wells and boreholes to access clean drinking water. The organization helps scout communities in need, raise funds through online donations and sponsorships, and coordinate the construction of the well.
He says he's driven by a desire to change the way the world views poverty and to challenge the stereotypes assigned to that term.