Eric Jarvis’ story doesn't start and surely won't end with Kiva.

 

I guess the first thing I can say about Eric before getting into this whole thing is that he is one of the most inspiring and hard working people I've had the privilege of meeting.  I first spoke to Eric Jarvis on the phone sometime in the middle of March when he was well behind getting his required number of people to get through the private stage of his Kiva loan.  At the time I knew very little about Eric and his story, apart from that he was trying to get a $10,000 loan to purchase a truck for transportation on Long Island.  After a couple of days of phone tag we were finally able to talk and almost immediately I felt a connection with him.  He was incredibly hard working and passionate about his work and it was so crystal clear, even through the phone, that he strongly believed in his incredible vision.   

 

Eric wanted to start a transportation company on Long Island which would serve multiple purposes including bringing children to school, adults to work, and most importantly to him, bring the families of incarcerated individuals to prisons to visit their loved ones.  Public transportation on Long Island is no easy task, and it's something that has directly affected Eric throughout his life.  His mother often needed connecting shuttles to the bus, and the train so that she could work in the city, where she would be paid a higher salary, and like many other mothers, his had a lot of trouble visiting him while he was incarcerated.

 

"I had visions of going to college for business, and eventually owning my own business. However, my ultimate goal was for my business to be an asset to my community. I wanted to ease the burden felt by those who are in poverty, incarcerated, and single parents. I am committed to helping fix the mobility challenges for Long Island’s under served communities. I want to create opportunities for the various undeserved communities by providing them with sanitary, reliable, and affordable transportation. My ultimate goal is to enable them to become more self-reliant as well as contributors to our great nation." - Eric Jarvis

Not only will Voso's way benefit the community through transportation but it will also aim to provide valuable materials and resources to passengers.  The van will have a TV playing informative commercials, blogs about training programs, trade schools, resource centers, foundations, and organizations that Suffolk County has to offer.  

Eric's passion to improve his community is unmatched and uncompromisable, and I am incredibly excited to stay in touch with him and see how his business continues to provide an incredibly valuable resource to an immensely under-served community in the future!!

 
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Born in Berkeley but raised in Boston, Chris graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a B.A. in Political Science while focusing on international relations and African studies. Chris has always strived to travel and benefit others as much as possible, which has manifested itself over multiple platforms. In 2011 he spent a year volunteering at St. Joseph’s Home for Chronically Ill Children in South Africa, as well as time spent studying international development and welfare states at Uppsala University in Sweden in 2014. Chris completed his last undergraduate semester online while interning with SeeSaw in Cape Town, South Africa. SeeSaw is a small social enterprise focused on providing ICT solutions to the water and sanitation sectors throughout the continent as well as parts of Southeast Asia. In June of 2016 following his time as a Kiva fellow he will be departing to serve in the Peace Corps in Togo as a secondary school teacher and very much looks forward to taking the skills and lessons he learns over the next four months with him.