Training the Next Generation of Social Impact Leaders in a Time of Turmoil

June 4, 2020 | By Matt Fortier

“The Student Analyst Program allows students to meaningfully immerse themselves in these initiatives and start their own social impact journeys.”

– Shaily Acharya, SFS’23

Between the pandemic and growing protests over racial inequity, the need for leadership in social impact is critical, and we’re proud to work with individuals dedicated to that goal. This week, we’re excited to welcome fourteen students, budding leaders for social impact from across the country, to participate in our Student Analyst Program. This summer’s cohort includes 10 Georgetown students, joined by colleagues from American University, Fordham University, University of Michigan, and University of North Carolina, bringing diverse perspectives from outside the Hilltop to enrich our community and learning environment.

We had a record number of applicants representing over 30 different institutions of higher education. Some of these students are brand new to our Center, while others engaged us through other Beeck Center programs, such as our events, workshops, and Discern + Digest discussion series. 

As we highlighted in the spring, we are adapting student programming to continue our mission in equipping students with the mindsets and skills for social impact leadership. The distributed environment has presented both challenges and opportunities in driving this mission forward, and we recognizeare proud of our students for the flexibility and resilience in the wake of these changes. 

“My passion lies in ensuring communities marginalized by our current economic system have equitable access to the financial resources they need to thrive. I hope my work at the Beeck Center and beyond is able to contribute to the enrichment of these communities for years to come.”

– Brooks Watson, MSB’21

Our students have been proactive in sharing their ideas, exemplifying our experimental attitude in helping us adapt our programming. This spring, we experimented with programs to promote community, piloting virtual office hours and using tools like Slack and the donut app to recreate the types of water cooler moments we’re all missing. We’re looking forward to further codesigning solutions and developing more best practices as we work and learn this summer. 

While the students have had a couple of months to work on distance learning, some of our new alumni shared advice on maximizing their time here at the Center:

“Your favorite word this summer should be Question: Ask questions; Question the status quo! Today what we need more than anything else is the ability to rethink our existing models. The Beeck Center is doing exactly that: to reflect, research and redesign cutting-edge ideas. And you are the instruments for scaling this process.”

-Ali Shahbaz, SFS’20

“Don’t treat your role as a Beeck Center Student Analyst as just another campus job – immerse yourself in the opportunities to reflect, to consider your own growth, and to set goals. Insert your own creativity and voice into projects and seek the insights of others. Your coworkers will become your friends and mentors, so enjoy each and every minute with the Beeck Center community.”

-Casey Doherty, College’20

Welcome to the summer 2020 Student Analyst cohort, we can’t wait to see what you produce in the coming months.

NAMESCHOOLHOMETOWN
Grace RectorGU - School of Foreign ServiceLos Angeles, CA
Josephine GrahamUniversity of MichiganSt. Clair Shores, MI
Divjot BawaGU - School of Foreign ServiceSterling, VA
Angela GuoUniversity of North CarolinaChapel Hill, NC
Natalie WardFordham UniversityPortland, OR
Alberto Rodriguez AlvarezGU - McCourt School of Public PolicyVeracruz, Mexico
Hayley PontiaGU - Graduate School of Arts & SciencesPittsburgh, PA
Elaina FaustGU - School of Foreign ServiceSouthborough, MA
Taylor SavellGU - School of Foreign ServiceNashville, TN
Katie SullivanGU - School of Foreign ServiceBarrington, IL
Saumya ShrutiGU - College of Liberal ArtsSan Ramon, CA
Shaily AcharyaGU - School of Foreign ServiceRockville, MD
Brooks WatsonGU - McDonough School of BusinessAnnapolis, MD
Cristina Alaniz-RamirezAmerican UniversityBrownsville, TX

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