June 14, 2017 | The NextGen Leadership Series, GU Impacts Profile: Sabrina Romulo
Interview by Ali Walton, Beeck Communications Analyst
Meet Sabrina! She’s a sophomore in the SFS, studying Global Business. She will be combining her experiences as an international student from the Philippines with her desires to explore private sector approaches to economic development at her fellowship with El Nido Resorts in Palawan, Philippines.
What is your assigned location and what makes you excited about it?
I will be spending my summer as a GU Impacts Fellow in El Nido, one of the most beautiful islands in the Philippines. Hailing from the Philippines, I have been able to see how much influence and power the private sector has to actuate profound change in the development of my country. More specifically within the GU Impacts program housed at El Nido, I am excited to be able to view how private interests in environmental tourism could impact not only the local economy, but my home country itself. As an admirer and past visitor of the Palawan region and the El Nido Resort, I know that the Ayala Land organization values the region’s natural beauty and biodiversity the most, especially given how these affect and contribute to the resort’s profitability, attractiveness and sustainability as a self-defined responsible tourist destination.
What does social impact mean to you in your experiences?
Social impact is about being able to foster, create, and institutionalize positive social and civic change. I believe that social impact can be achieved the individual level, but at the same time, impact is also applicable at the national, or even international level. Social impact, to me, is about crafting a desired future. My definition and understanding of social impact is definitely framed by what I hope to achieve and see in the future of my country.
I live in a country plagued with corruption, inefficiency, and poverty. One day, hopefully soon, I’d like to wake up in a home country without hearing that another member of the government is being arrested for using funds, which could be used for alleviating poverty or fostering economic progress, to instead purchase a new sports car or a brand new pair of expensive shoes. I want to be immersed in a community that champions democracy, peace, security, and progress rather than one that settles for its current reputation of being poor, illiterate, inefficient, and corrupt. As a member of this community who has seen, heard, and experienced living life in this ‘third world country,’ I believe that I have more reason than most to want to improve the quality of the lives of my fellow Filipinos. Living in this kind of environment has given me the information I need to know what needs fixing, but more than that, it has given me reason and motivation to want to fix what needs to be improved.
This is what I believe it means to make a social impact.
How do you hope to grow through GU Impacts?
The GU Impacts program revolves around the work done by organizations and social enterprises in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. I believe that the GU Impacts program could definitely bolster and complement the scholarship and exploration I am starting to do as a newly declared Global Business Major. I applied to the Global Business program of the SFS and now as well, I applied to the GU Impacts program due to my deep interest and passion for business and developmental economics, and more specifically their intersection. Given our constantly globalizing world, the international networks of firms, the spread of labour worldwide, the increasing value of corporate social responsibility, and the increase of public-private partnerships continue to increase the voice and power the private sector has as a relevant stakeholder in the welfare of the international community.
Why did you decide to apply to GU Impacts?
The Beeck Center’s signature student engagement program, GU Impacts, is the best possible representation and manifestation of the reason why I decided to apply to, and ultimately attend Georgetown University. As a young woman growing up in a developing country, I have personally witnessed and experienced many of the social, political, environmental and economic ills that plague present-day society. Given my unique perspective of the world based on the developing environment I grew up in, I know for certain that all I want to do is aid my country in its development. Using the knowledge and skills I can learn and explore as a student in Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service and more pertinently as a GU Impacts Fellow, I feel confident that I will be able to do anything and everything in my power to affect change not only in the Philippines, but also in the greater global community.
What do you think makes GU Impacts different from other service programs at Georgetown?
I believe that the GU Impacts program differs from others that exist in Georgetown due its highly international focus. Furthermore, I would like to highlight that the GU Impacts program is part of the Beeck Center. I believe what gives the GU Impacts program its edge is that it makes use of and capitalizes on the values, research and experience of the Beeck Center and its staff members.
What’s your favorite quote?
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
What are you currently reading?
Ariel Dorfman’s Death and the Maiden