July 5, 2017 | The NextGen Leadership Series, GU Impacts Profile: Louisa Christen
Interview by Ali Walton, Beeck Communications Analyst
Meet Louisa Christen! She’s a sophomore in the SFS, studying the Latin American region. She will be combining her studies of the region, and her interests in community-based empowerment at her fellowship with Agora Partnerships in Managua, Nicaragua.
What is your assigned location and what makes you excited about it?
I am most excited to get the chance to travel to Nicaragua, and immerse myself in the culture and communities that I have been studying for so long. The organization I am working with, Agora Partnerships, has a small and intimate team in Managua, and I look forward to really getting to know the individuals whose passion for improving their community placed them in this career. I am also excited to have the opportunity to interact directly with the individuals who rely on these organizations and hear and share their stories.
What does social impact mean to you in your experiences?
Social impact, to me, means any activity, business, or service whose focal point is the improvement of the human condition. The impact could be centered on the environment, seeking to make a positive and lasting change in the way humans interact with their environment through methods like sustainable investment, or they may be centered on the humans themselves, empowering individuals with tools and resources to give them a fairer chance at a better life.
How do you hope to grow through GU Impacts?
I hope to end the program equipped with an enhanced ability to communicate effectively and learn from disenfranchised groups I hope to help. This understanding will then allow me to more knowingly pursue my desire to work at a political think tank with the purpose of creating human-centered policy that can tangibly improve Latin American lives. The cultural immersion provided by this opportunity will help me to both augment and deepen an additional side of my person and identity.
Why did you decide to apply to GU Impacts?
I applied to GU Impacts because I believe firmly in our collective social responsibility as an extremely privileged group. It is a fellowship and program that, as a whole, is dedicated to actualizing social change, leveling the playing field around the world, and improving local communities. All of its specific programs empower men, women, and children with the tools they will need, be it education or investment, to make their own difference in the world, and I want to be a part of this process. What I value most in this program is that the organizations do not provide merely handouts, but rather, a manner of life. These various types of investment give people a livelihood, the means to better support their families, and indispensable dignity.
What do you think makes GU Impacts different from other service programs at Georgetown?
I think the fact that GU Impacts has so many different partnerships with organizations all over the world actually helps to make the program more cohesive, as everyone applying is doing so for the universally present goal of social impact. The “fellowship” component of GU Impacts is similarly unique in that it creates a strong sense of community within the fellows who do orientations, workshops, later coming back to share their experiences together.
What’s your favorite quote?
“You will never be able to experience everything. So, please, do poetical justice to your soul and simply experience yourself.” -Albert Camus
What are you currently reading?
I am currently reading “Henry and June” by Anais Nin and “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien.