Prior to being a graduate student at Peabody, I was a Teach for India fellow where I taught in a government school for 2 years. Having witnessed dire poverty related issues in my last two years at work, TFC grabbed my attention from the very beginning. I wanted to explore more solutions that are aimed at poverty alleviation but are society driven and sustainable. My association with the center started with the Hult case competition where I worked in an inter-disciplinary team to propose and pitch a sustainable solution to the global refugee crisis. The experience definitely left an impact on me, as it brought me closer to a space filled with future social entrepreneurs and change makers. It help
ed me picture my role in the whole of the social impact field.
Over the next couple of months, I got multiple opportunities to know about the work TFC does by attending their coffee chats, socials and office hour meetings with Mario (TFC Director). All these events convinced me to apply for their first social entrepreneurial trek to Memphis this past December. TheMemphis TFC Trek broadened my horizons in the social entrepreneurship field as I met professionals and organizations who are working in the social impact and economic development space. It was interesting to see the connection between business and community development in real time. Although Memphis is a city that has recently been plagued by poverty issues, we met a lot of inspiring leaders and innovators from College Initiative, RISE Foundation, New Memphis Institute and BRIDGES – all organizations that believe in the power of shining through by innovating business practices and providing new opportunities for the local population to combat the problem. It gave me an ideal thinking space to discuss and connect the solutions to my home country – India. We also had a lot of fun experiencing the vibrant food and music culture in Memphis.
This trek immediately inspired me to delve deeper in the social enterprise field and TFC offered me the perfect opportunity to do so. I received funding from TFC to attend the Harvard Social Entrepreneurship conference this March in Boston. This year’s conference will have speakers and leaders from Acumen, USAID, Facebook, Pfizer, Ford Foundation and many more. I look forward to connecting with and learning from social enterprise leaders and participants from diverse backgrounds with similar goals for creating sustainable and meaningful change. In my personal experience, the TFC always equips me with different experiences and opportunities – the center will continue to do this for students who believe in the mission and actively seek out to be a part of it.
Finally, this February I was selected to be on the 2017-2018 TFC
Student Programming Board. I can’t wait to get started with the new team toward creating and sustaining more of such impactful social ventures and engaging my fellow students with the TFC along the way!