June 5, 2017 | The NextGen Leadership Series, GU Impacts Profile: Jack Dobkin
Interview by Ali Walton, Beeck Communications Analyst
Meet Jack Dobkin! He is a sophomore in the SFS studying International Politics and minoring in Spanish. This summer, he’s heading to the Center for Civic Innovation in Atlanta, Georgia. Check out our conversation with him!
You’re heading to Atlanta this summer. What are you most excited about?
A number of things make me excited to be going to Atlanta this summer. Among these is the fact that I grew up in the Atlanta Metro area, and I couldn’t be more excited to give back to the community that has raised me and made me who I am today. At the same time, however, there is so much that happens in my own backyard that I’m unaware of, and I hope to be educated about the realities of my community on a deeper level. Further, Atlanta is certainly an up-and-coming hub for social impact ventures, entrepreneurship, and Georgia politics. All of these combined in one location makes for an exciting opportunity to learn and grow.
That’s awesome you get to head back home and learn in your own environment. Based on your past experiences, what does social impact mean to you?
To me, social impact means constantly working towards and seeking out progress that affects people in real and meaningful ways. I think it’s important to always see that, even when the status quo may seem up to par, there are always ways to further improve society. Further, if the changes and improvements that we seek have no effect on the everyday lives of the people they’re aimed to affect, then I believe the social impact of a cause is lost.
Why did you decide to apply to GU Impacts, and how do you hope to grow through this experience?
A big reason that I applied to GU Impacts was the fact that the program really spoke to a lot of interests that are important to me, and GU Impacts gives me the opportunity to combine them all into one. I am very passionate about politics and social justice, and I also really enjoy opportunities where I am able to have hands-on and more personal interactions with people. With these in mind, GU Impacts, and especially the Center for Civic Innovation, aligned perfectly with what I was looking for.
Through GU Impacts, I hope to gain important insight into the fields that I am interested in and to deepen my education within these fields. Without any idea of what I want to do in my future, a hope that I have is that GU Impacts will be a good synthesis of my interests, while also helping to influence the trajectory of my future.
And what do you think makes GU Impacts different from other service programs at Georgetown?
I think that the holistic approach of GU Impacts really makes the program different from other service opportunities at Georgetown. Unlike other summer opportunities, or other service programs at Georgetown, GU Impacts doesn’t stop at the end of the semester or at the end of the summer. Rather, GU Impacts starts with orientation sessions before the end of the spring semester, then transitions into the 10-week fellowship, before continuing on with the reflection and research into the respective program themes. This reality allows for a much deeper and more meaningful experience, in my opinion. So often, service programs and similar opportunities stop at their deadline. The GU Impacts difference, however, ensures a more essential connection to the program, to the topic, and to personal growth, and I find this to be a huge plus in the GU Impacts program.
That was a great answer. What’s your favorite quote?
“There’s no sense in being in this business unless you’re an optimist” – Joe Biden
And lastly, what are you currently reading?
“Give Us the Ballot” – Ari Berman