Impact At Scale

The Beeck Center engages global leaders to drive social change at scale.

Andrea Charcas

What is your assigned location and what makes you excited about it?
This summer, I’ll be working for Yanbal in Lima, Peru. Although I’m thrilled to be living in Peru, I’m most excited to begin working on my project. As Jo and Bianca described it, the managers at Yanbal are very firm in their goals and expectations, but they give the interns a lot of discretion to make decisions that will lead to an impactful outcome. I like that my managers trust us enough to give us a blank canvas that we have the creativity and autonomy to fill. I’m excited to see what decisions I will make, how I will fix the errors that I’m bound to commit, and what I will produce at the end of twelve weeks.

What does social impact mean to you in your experiences?
The phrase “social impact” is so heavy, as if social impact means to do something grandiose or accomplish some impressive feat. Although those can certainly be the goal, you can also drive social impact by believing in an idea and taking any step, no matter how small, towards realizing it. The more unattainable we make social impact seem, the less people will aspire to work towards it.

How do you hope to grow through GU Impacts?
As much as I’d like to think otherwise, I’m not very brave nor much of a risk taker. I surprised myself when I decided to apply to GU Impacts because I was only really considering internships close to home. Going to school so far away from my family has been made easier because of my incredible friends, clubs, and support systems here at Georgetown, but I know that I won’t have all of that in Lima. I hope to grow by putting myself out of my comfort zone and not being so dependent on others for security and instead learning to depend on myself.

Why did you decide to apply to GU Impacts?
I applied to GU Impacts because I was seeking a learning experience that didn’t come from sitting in a lecture hall. I’ve always been good at applying what I’ve learned in the classroom on exams where the proof of my learning is represented by a letter grade. However, I felt myself growing frustrated with my own dependence on grades to validate my learning.

With GU Impacts, Lima will become my classroom. I will be able to funnel my energy into a project that doesn’t necessarily have numbers attached to it – something more impactful, more meaningful.

What do you think makes GU Impacts different from other service programs at Georgetown?
It’s a completely immersive experience on all fronts. I’ll be in Lima for twelve weeks, yes, but there’s a large preparation component before we leave to our site and a reflection component once we return to campus. In addition, even after we’re formally “done” with the program, becoming a GU Impacts alumnus means that you provide support to the incoming class. Last semester and especially throughout the application process, I leaned on Jo and Bianca tremendously and they were always eager to answer my questions and assist me. Seeing how enthusiastic they were to help me with the application process made me realize how valuable the GU Impacts network is and it makes me proud to be part of such an incredible community.

What’s your favorite quote?
“It was always the becoming he dreamed of, never the being.”
– F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise

What are you currently reading?
8 Ball Chicks by Gini Sikes

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