A Photo and a Dream

It all began with a photo.

There were two little girls, sisters, covered from head to foot in dust and wearing ripped, raggedy clothes. And yet, their faces were beaming as they each clasped onto a piece of wrapped chocolate.

When I was twelve years old, my dad took a business trip to India. It was there he encountered poverty unlike anything he had ever before witnessed. And it is there where he met these two girls, among many children, to whom he passed out American candy.

It was seeing this photo that tipped the scale for me; I was determined to do something for the people of the world, only I did not know where to begin.

Upon arriving at BYU a few years later, I was fortunate to fall into opportunity: my first semester I snagged the only English 150 seat left. The emphasis of the class was writing about world problems, particularly humanitarian issues.

And that was it.

Soon I was wrapped up in the club Students for International Development which led to picking up an international development minor. I began volunteering through various organizations on campus. I began reading articles on what was happening in the world. I began exploring my options to see how I could take the dream I gained at age twelve and incorporate it into my field of study.

When I learned about Jason Fairbourne and his success with microfranchise, I knew business was my new window. That is not to say other areas such as health, education, and sociology are not important but I realized understanding social entrepreneurship was what would propel me to create the most successful development strategies I could.

After that, one link led to another. Last year I picked up social innovation/entrepreneurship classes, and I completed an on-campus internship with Students for Social Entrepreneurship (SSE).

So what makes me take this class when I’ve already taken the others? Well, trading out my finance class for this one was already a nice deal (not to mention it fit in with my schedule). But far beyond that, the title intrigued me. I’ve studied enough about successful organizations and projects just as much as I’ve studied enough about the failed ones. I need something fresh. I need something individual. I need to learn how to better reach those two girls from the photo.