2015 Tillman Scholar

Charles Mitchell

Coast Guard
Yale University
M.A., Political Science & African Studies

“I believe that you set yourself up for success by wholly throwing yourself at the challenge at hand and not considering letting yourself fail.”

Motivated by adventure and the challenge of becoming one of a few elite, well-trained, and capable search and rescue professionals, Charles joined the U.S. Coast Guard to serve as a helicopter rescue swimmer. Over the years, his training has reinforced and proved the principle that you set yourself up for success by not considering letting yourself fail.

Through his service, Charles discovered his passion for helping others, and he has dedicated himself to giving back to the community – both locally and globally. In addition to his military service, he has volunteered at his local children’s oncology center with his three legged dog Norman, spent a month volunteering at an orphanage in India, and worked on children’s advocacy in Chicago communities. Through all these experiences, he has tried to make people’s lives a little bit better.

In 2015, Charles had the opportunity to intern in Africa with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA). Motivated by that experience, he is pursuing his M.A. in African Studies at Yale University with an emphasis on the political economy of humanitarian action. In the near future, he hopes to work for the US Agency for International Development (USAID) or the United Nations.