What is your assigned location and what makes you excited about it?
I am assigned to Akazi Kanoze Access, an NGO that is based in Kigali, Rwanda, and works on grassroots educational development throughout the country. I am really excited by the opportunity to not just immerse myself in the culture, but to explore how development work takes place in different areas of the world. Specifically, since AKA is partially funded and sponsored by USAID, I look forward to learning how organizations across continents can cooperate to overcome shared obstacles.
What does social impact mean to you in your experiences?
In my experience, social impact means adding value to one or many, and doing so responsibly. Through my work as a regional chair for Relay for Life and a conference moderator for UNICEF, I have learned that true change and improvement comes by finding the best ways to add value and make impact with minimal resources. Most importantly, any social impact work must be done with utmost cultural respect. I’ve seen firsthand that ideas of superiority, patriarchy, and dominance can reverse the intended effects of social impact work, and therefore I believe that all those who engage in the field of social impact must be respectful of different cultures and ideals.
How do you hope to grow through GU Impacts?
I hope that GU Impacts will break down any unidentified biases and mental shutters I have about the world. Though I try my best to be aware of different areas, we here at Georgetown often find ourselves stuck in various interlinked ‘bubbles’ of thought and perspectives. I want my experience this summer to break these bubbles and help me think with a true global perspective.
Why did you decide to apply to GU Impacts?
I decided to apply to GU Impacts this year because I want not only my education to shape my experiences, but my experiences to shape my education. Oftentimes, peers and advisors suggest that freshman should look for opportunities closer to home, but I wanted to use this summer to get professional experience that I could bring to my campus activities in my upperclassmen years. I applied to GU Impacts because I want to bring a new perspective to class discussions, club events, and anything else that I do in my years here at Georgetown and beyond.
What do you think makes GU Impacts different from other service programs at Georgetown?
I believe that GU Impacts’ support structure before, during, and after the trip makes it very unique from other service programs at Georgetown. During this spring semester, all Impact Fellows receive training on how to work in and accommodate to vastly new environments. While we are at our internships, we each have a faculty mentor that helps us reflect, improve, and overcome any obstacles. Afterwards, Impact Fellows participate in post-trip reflection in order to summarize our experiences and bring our learnings to campus. Overall, GU Impacts’ reflective structure ensures that our experience isn’t limited to just one summer.
What’s your favorite quote?
“Don’t play the game, play the man,” – Harvey Specter, Suits
What are you currently reading?
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander