Each semester, students enrolled in the Global Microloan Program will update this site with their bi-weekly program logs. The Fall 2021 student teams include Enterprise Development and Program Impact Audits; Finance and Risk Assessment; Marketing and Fundraising; and Technology and Communications.
Enterprise Development and Program Impact Audits Team Sean Bagasevich, Greggy Charles, Leah Chavez, Holly Gola*
Finance and Risk Assessment Team Ajay Ghingoor, Jack Jacobi, Valentina Mendez, Olivia O’Reilly*, Purva Padh
Marketing and Fundraising Team Hamza Lamkhatri, Delia Looby*, Valentina Manciameli, Ignacio Prieto
Technology and Communications Team Salvatore Chabla, Jackson Geddes, Sara Gowen*
Finance, Budgets and Risk Assessment Team
By: Olivia O’Reilly
The first two weeks of GLOBE were a whirlwind of emotions, full of excitement and curiosity. Prior to the first class, I was excited to meet new people who shared the same interests both in helping others and working in person within teams for the first time in a year. During the first class, I realized the commitment that GLOBE demands from the designated team tasks as well as the educational requirements: discussion posts, assigned readings, and weekly reflection logs. At first, this was quite overwhelming to process during the initial class. However, by the second week I started to appreciate the workload, as I already understand the loan process and the basics of micro-financing, along with the advantages and disadvantages.
Aside from the classwork, I had a discussion with my dad after the first class, which brought this work closer to home than I had previously thought it was. My dad explained that when he was growing up, his family back in Ireland was in the same financial situation as many of the borrowers of GLOBE. This led to a deeper conversation, in which I was able to understand the struggles that many people living in poverty experience. Even though I knew my father grew up in a poor family, I had never realized how hard life was, and how many sacrifices all members of the family -both parents and children- made to make ends meet. My father left school in middle school to take care of his sick mother and work on the farm, as my grandmother was no longer able to do so. This connects to the discussion board where Jack made a great point of the cyclical factors of poverty: the lack of access to education, the lack of access to nutritious food, and the lack of access to quality affordable healthcare. This is a cycle that my own family went through, and many millions suffer through to this day. It is not easy to break out of the cycle, even with help, but from what I have learned so far, there is hope. Each loan has the potential to alleviate a family from poverty, and for that, the effort is truly worth it.
Now reflecting on the past two weeks, I feel empowerment to serve these borrowers because they are amazing and innovative people who do so much for their families. Ofelia, the borrower on whose loan application I’m working, works as a teacher but wants to sell food to help his family, as income is short due to the cost of renting. The hard work that the borrowers put in every day pushes me to do more and work to provide loans as soon as possible.
Enterprise Development and Program Impact Audits Team
By: Leah Chavez
As the semester began to approach, I was nervous about being a part of GLOBE. I wasn’t sure if it would be somewhere I could be useful and help out (especially due to my lack of knowledge in Microfinance). The group interviews I sat through before did not help to boost my confidence, after hearing all these talented candidates that had so much to offer. However, after meeting in the first class, that nervous feeling has become overridden by motivation and determination. There are so many different aspects of GLOBE where I know for a fact, I can not only contribute but learn as well.
We’ve met as a class twice now and I have already learned a great deal, but one of the topics that has really stuck out to me was poverty. I used to use the term “poor people” to refer to individuals living in poverty, but Dr. Sama told us about a woman who once corrected her when she made the mistake of calling people “poor.” She said that it wasn’t right to call these individuals poor because they are rich in other aspects of their lives, such as culture and family. That is something I will never forget because it holds a lot of truth. After listening to stories about some of the borrowers’ lives, it’s clear that these individuals are resilient and are not held back by their living conditions. In fact, they yearn for resources that will help lift themselves up. Through GLOBE, we’re capable of offering these resources to our borrowers and I think that’s one of the biggest reasons I wanted to join GLOBE. I went from knowing little to nothing about Microfinance to finding it as an incredible tool we can use to help alleviate poverty. It’s a cycle that can not only help an individual, but a whole community as well. I read somewhere that microfinance is like a ladder that helps people move up and out of poverty and I think that’s a perfect description. It’s incredible to think that something as little as $44 can make someone's life just a little bit better.
I’ve most definitely lost that doubt and nervousness that sat in the back of my brain before starting this semester. There’s so much we can do through GLOBE, and I hope to work my hardest to impact the lives of others in any way, shape, or form.
Marketing and Fundraising Team
By: Ignacio Prieto
My first three GLOBE classes have been magnificent. Just after entering the first class and taking a seat, I could see the excitement on everyone’s faces, excited to get started and start making an impact on the world. Hearing about the topic of microfinance was extremely eye-opening during the first class. It was something of which I had very little knowledge, but that I am understanding better and better every class.
We just completed our first reading assignment on the book Banker to the Poor, “Chapter 3.” It was the perfect opportunity to share with the class some of the insights and highlights that stood out to my group. For example, Muhammad Yunus was named the Head of the Economics Department at Chittagong University, and the first idea that came to mind was helping the village surrounding the university’s campus. He wrote a statement on famine and was even able to get it signed by well-respected vice chancellor Abul Fazal. Yunus started the Chittagong University Rural Development Project (C.U.R.D.P.) and gave his students the opportunity to apply some of the knowledge they gained in class into real world cases. I could immediately see the applications to what we have been learning in class. Yunus was helping the farmers with their crops just as we help entrepreneurs in GLOBE. Yunus also gets paid back with 1/3 of their harvest. Just like Yunus’s loans, there is risk involved with our loans, but we must maximize our efforts to ensure that the loans get paid back in a timely manner and that ultimately, the business is going to be successful.
I think the readings and the different discussions, presentations, and videos we have seen in class have already expanded my knowledge on microfinance and poverty. Like I mentioned in my discussion post, I think my perception of poverty has changed significantly and I think it might change even more after this semester. I am also really absorbing every topic discussed in class, but I am fascinated by the impact that microfinance can have on small communities and the borrowers we are able to help through GLOBE. It was wonderful to see the different videos made by previous GLOBE classes where we could learn about previous borrowers and fellowship trips the program did in prior years. It was very insightful and remarkable to hear all the stories Dr. Sama remembers from the different trips.
I think this GLOBE class is very talented and that we have some great ideas. I think this semester will be one to remember for GLOBE, as we transition back to in-person learning. All the members are excited and ready to get to work.
Technology and Communications Team
By: Jackson Geddes
Where to start. I can’t believe we are already going into our third week of class. When I first heard of GLOBE, it was through a friend at the end of last semester. Almost immediately it caught my attention, and I was so excited to apply. I was nervous before my meeting with Dr. Sama and Lina because I felt like I was underprepared in a way. I had researched microfinance and GLOBE prior to our meeting, but still felt I had so much to learn. The meeting went great, and I was so thrilled when I received the email from Dr. Sama saying that I would be a GLOBE manager!
My expectations going into our first class were all over the place. I felt like other students were more qualified than me, and I had to play catch up even before we met in person. I can now confidently say that I feel so happy with my decision to be in this program, and that I was worrying for no reason at all. As it is only our third week together, I know there is still much to learn, but I have absolutely loved working with my team. From making our team goals, to getting together and meeting throughout the week, it has been such a great experience so far. Having an opportunity to help these entrepreneurs is so exciting and I can’t wait to see the positive changes in their lives by giving them loans with which to start their own businesses.
Our first oral presentation last week was on the work of Muhammad Yunus and his book, Creating a World Without Poverty. We read about the implementation of cell phones in Bangladesh, as well as microcredit and his insights on a social business. It was a fascinating read, even if it was only 10 pages in Chapter 4. I thoroughly enjoyed working on our first presentation, and it all went so well. My favorite aspect of the chapter we read was how much of it connected to GLOBE and what we want to accomplish here. It has only been a few weeks, but I feel that I am learning so much each day, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for the IT team, as well as our class as a whole, in the hopes of providing many loans to these exciting entrepreneurs across the world.
By: Purva Padh
This week, my team and I have been discussing how to move forward with the loan applications. We have also been talking to Dr. Sama about the questions that we have had about our borrowers or their environments in order to complete our risk assessment models, loan amortization tables, and to begin our recommendation drafts. One thing that I am realizing through this process is the importance of frequent communication, without which we would not be able to do our tasks properly. Whether it is asking questions to my teammates or Dr. Sama, I realized that I have to stop worrying if the question is too trivial or too obvious to ask, because it can lead to crucial information being missed. Another thing I realized while working on the loan application was the necessity of coming up with the right questions and to really look into every little detail to notice if something does not look right. The more things I questioned because I stumbled upon them by chance, the more I found out how important those seemingly “little” things were.
Apart from the loan process, something that I really thought about was the conditions that our borrowers are living in. Because we have five team members as well as five loan applications so far, we decided to split it up with one loan each. I am currently overseeing a borrower from Vietnam, who needs a loan for a vehicle in order to be able to continue her job and provide for her family. What I had not realized was that the strict 12-hour curfew in Vietnam due to COVID-19 is still going on, and people are not allowed to leave their houses outside of the designated time. Because there is such little time for people to keep up with their professional and personal lives, productivity is quite low, and people are struggling. Many have lost their jobs due to COVID, not just in Vietnam, but worldwide.
It got me thinking how everywhere we go, we can see that small businesses have suffered the most, and how important it is to support and try to save the small businesses that are still left today. It inspired me to try and get our borrowers their loans as fast as possible so that they can resume their lives or have the chance for a fresh start, whether the money is going to support their business venture or simply to support them and their family during these trying times. I asked myself, did all of these people really deserve such terrible hardships? The answer is probably no, but while none of us can actually do anything about the pandemic except for trying to keep ourselves safe, what we can do is continue trying our best each day, because what else is there to life if we don’t fight for ourselves?
By: Holly Gola
Being able to meet with some of the former GLOBE managers was super helpful to my team. We were not only able to go more in depth on their objectives from past semesters, but we were able to share our objectives and hear tips that can help our team succeed. The managers from this past Spring semester recommended setting a clear meeting time outside of class to work on the bulk of our objectives together, and this is something my team realized would be the most beneficial for us. I realized communication and teamwork is extremely important to complete our goals, and it has been really nice to get closer with my team.
Meeting with the former managers also helped me feel just how passionate each member had become about GLOBE during their time with the class. Almost every manager expressed how GLOBE was one of the best classes they had taken at St. John’s, and it made me even more happy to be sitting there in front of them (virtually)! I love hearing how impactful our work is for our borrowers and how rewarding it is to be behind the scenes.
Lastly, the M-KOPA Solar video we watched in class really opened my eyes to how different resources are spread across the world. While lighting is not only an ordinary commodity in America, but almost expected when walking into a room, it is devastating to see how the people of Kenya and many rural areas in Asia have relied on kerosene lamps despite their health and environmental drawbacks. Though it still takes a person in Kenya almost a year to pay off a single light, it is amazing to see companies like M-KOPA providing these essential products for the “underbanked.”
By: Valentina Manciameli
This past class not only eased my worries and concerns as a new GLOBE manager but also showed me how caring and hardworking past and current GLOBE managers are. The other managers and I met and discussed with past GLOBE managers via Zoom in the classroom. Seeing how ecstatic everyone was to offer their help and guidance, as well as seeing Dr. Sama reminded me how rewarding GLOBE is for everyone involved. Also, it felt as if all the past managers were sitting in the classroom with us instead of talking to us virtually because of their encouraging words.
Meeting with past managers reassured my team and I that everything we’d like to do is plausible and doable as long as we stay focused and keep our objectives and borrowers in mind. Even if we can’t accomplish every objective, it’s best to put our efforts into the objectives we are truly passionate about and to which we can devote ourselves 100 percent. This served as a reminder to me that I would rather put all my efforts into ideas I'm truly passionate about instead of just finishing a task halfheartedly to meet a deadline. Although I would like to complete every objective we have submitted, I won't beat myself up if everything isn't completed, as long as I know my team and I did our best and fully applied ourselves and our abilities to help the borrowers.
Again, I appreciate how helpful and encouraging the past GLOBE managers were in our meeting. Hearing the positive reactions and constructive criticisms of the Marketing team's objectives makes me excited to improve and work together on planning the fundraising events and creating the GiveCampus campaign. This class reminded me of the importance of teamwork and communicating with others to ensure we complete our objectives and see results. I am excited to work alongside the fellow GLOBE managers, not just on the Marketing team but with the rest of my classmates as well, to enhance and build a stronger GLOBE family.
By: Sara Gowen
Wow. What a remarkable program. Every single day I’m still in awe of where I currently am, and what a privilege it feels like to be a part of GLOBE. This past week, we’d been able to meet with previous GLOBE managers of various semesters, who all had answered the call from Dr. Sama for a chance to give back to the program, even though some of them had graduated years prior. It was truly unbelievable how so many students had been more than willing to hop on a call and share their experiences, their insights, and everything they learned, to give the current teams some more foundation, giving new managers the necessary tools to continue what they’d started. Hearing everyone’s enthusiasm and excitement was just so contagious. I never wanted it to end.
Speaking with some of the former managers of the Technology and Communications team was both an insightful learning experience and gave so much validation to all that we’d experienced so far. GLOBE can be a whirlwind, a fun ride that sweeps you up. You have so many ideas of what you could do to leave your mark, and improve what you can, but with such little time. Already, almost a month has gone by, and it still feels like we only began this journey yesterday. All the former managers gave such good advice, like using an excel sheet as a master key for a posting schedule for organization, how to itemize our objectives while not overburdening ourselves, examples of what they’d wanted to accomplish but couldn’t, and what they’d loved to see now. It was like most of the burning questions I’d had on how to attack certain issues or problems I’d run into thus far were answered. Their advice really was invaluable.
One of the things that left such an impact on me was seeing two former GLOBE managers interact, from different semesters, where one gave the other advice and extended themself in aiding their job search, with no hesitation. To see two former GLOBE managers, who I don’t believe knew each other very well, helping each other with something so important, really cemented what everyone had been saying. GLOBE really was a family, and it extended way beyond the classroom, and much longer than just the few months you get to be an active participant. It was wonderful to see and reminded me of a quote I’m fond of, “lift as you climb.” As simple as it may seem, it really is a rarity to see in most places. It really showed me just how much GLOBE lived up to its core values, and what a wonderful network of people of which I was now a part.
In meeting with them, I’d become even more confident in all the work that I’d done thus far and felt even more prepared for the future, including all the challenges that may lie ahead. I’d begun to feel even more of a sense of belonging and I can’t wait to see what the journey brings.
By: Valentina Mendez
This week showed me aspects of Microfinance I had not yet considered. It was shocking to me to see how Microfinance is impacting and empowering female communities beyond just business matters. After seeing this video of communities on the other side of the world, I could not believe that Microfinance could also inspire change within their social structures. I was shocked at the change in how they were seen, treated, and respected by their husbands, to the point that it helped them avoid situations of abuse. This is something I did not expect to be hearing as a positive externality from microcredit and it’s something that has empowered me to do the best I can to approve loans when appropriate. I now understand that the implications go beyond the economic benefit they can provide. This has also helped me guide the focus for my position paper since I want to work on women empowerment, and this has shed new light on this topic. This has also led me to reflect on what I study in my major classes and how economic analyses I am taught to perform should consider these factors even more consistently. This is something that comes with policy design, business operations, and corporate social responsibility.
In terms of other new topics that were introduced in GLOBE this week, I consider that the ethical aspect of Microfinance is one of which I had never thought of the negative side. When you start reading about Microfinance you kind of idealize it a bit without considering malpractices from different entities that may actually harm borrowers even more. This is something my team and I have definitely been taking into account as we develop our loan recommendations. We have understood that there are considerations beyond those posted in the application, like age and health concerns. I believe this to be essential in making Microfinance ethical and understanding when the lowering of interest rates or the extension of payback periods are necessary. I have also recognized the importance of being audited, something for which I did not completely understand the need, when starting GLOBE. This is a way to be aware of what we are doing and to be held accountable for the decisions we make and why we make them. I consider this part of the reflecting process for experiential learning an imperative, since we are working with a vulnerable population.
Enterprise Development and Program Impact Audits Team
By: Greggy Charles
This past week, I have really enjoyed learning more and more about Microfinance. Microfinance institutions help their customers protect against financial loss, as these organizations provide loans mostly under joint payment liabilities to share the risk, to a large extent, between different members. Microfinance is a banking service provided to unemployed, low-income individuals, or groups who otherwise would have no other access to financial services. Microfinance allows people to take on affordable small business loans safely and in a manner that is consistent with ethical lending practices. Most Microfinancing operations occur in developing nations, such as Uganda, Indonesia, Serbia, and Honduras. Like conventional lenders, Microfinanciers charge interest on loans and institute specific repayment plans.
The World Bank estimates that more than 500 million people have directly or indirectly benefited from Microfinance-related operations. The benefits of Microfinance extend beyond the direct effects of giving people a source for capital. Entrepreneurs who create successful businesses in turn create jobs, trade, and overall economic improvement within a community. It is also crucial for individual development. In many instances, people seeking help from Microfinance organizations are first required to take an introductory money-management class. Lessons cover understanding interest rates, the concept of cash flow, how financing agreements and savings accounts work, how to budget, and how to manage debt. Once educated, customers may apply for loans. Just as one would find at a traditional bank, a loan officer helps borrowers with applications, oversees the lending process, and approves loans.
By: Delia Looby
This week was a very good week in GLOBE. I feel as the weeks go on and the more research I do after class, I have so much pride in being in this program. I really appreciate how my group and I have started coming up with new ideas that play a role in the legacy we plan to leave for GLOBE managers and leaders to come. My group and I had a good sit-down conversation with Lina, who plays a major role in our success in GLOBE. She helped us formulate and propose ideas for public safety for our “Colors of the GLOBE” event which is set to take place in a few weeks. In terms of being in the classroom with Dr. Sama, things have been great. I appreciate how passionate she is about the subject she teaches because whether she knows it or not, it motivates the rest of the class. Although the semester seems to be going by a bit slow at times, Dr. Sama makes sure our time is occupied, in a good way, and makes sure we’re working towards our goals. Our objectives after weeks of editing are almost at the stage of perfection, and it makes sense why they needed to constantly be edited. When having objectives, they have to fit every scenario because each person that participates and takes out a loan is very unique. Therefore, our objectives must reflect that versatility and be achievable by any means necessary.
Outside of the class, I feel like the skills I had to learn and implement each week are helping me receive a better perception of why my major is important in the microfinancing world. My major of International Management plays the role of making sure morals are being respected and things are fair, etc. In microfinancing, managers have to consider how the borrowers live and interpret their reasons for applying for a loan, making sure they’re justifiable. I think as time continues, I’ll be able to fully incorporate what I’ve learned regarding my career into this class. I am excited for what is to come. I’m proud of my team and myself thus far.
One of the best things I’ve been able to enjoy about GLOBE so far has been the professional and rewarding environment that this program gives to its participants. I’ve sent more emails in this past week than I have sometimes during a month in past semesters, and I believe I’ve mastered how to write an email professionally, which is a great skill to have. This past week, the Marketing and IT teams both met virtually with Scott VanDeusen, a member of the steering committee, to get feedback on our objectives, and his opinion on our ideas. Meeting with him was so rewarding and gave us a great look at our team’s objectives and everything we hoped to accomplish, and he was really receptive to our ideas. He also helped us hone and perfect our idea of doing a couple giveaways for the semester to increase our social media engagement, which came from my teammate Jackson. Meeting with Scott really helped put our ideas into motion, and it set the stage for everything that we wanted to accomplish, while also giving us the tools and resources to complete these tasks.
My relationship with my creativity has also become even stronger, more so than I’d hoped for the entirety of this semester. I’ve had moments over the course of years past where I felt as though I lacked creativity and the ability to think outside of a box that academia has created, that I previously felt as though I had to fit into. Even at previous work experiences, in positions where my creativity was a crucial part of a project’s success, I felt stifled or that my ability to create was taken away, and that I had no control over my work and what I created. I was nervous or apprehensive to take on aspects of what it took to be on the Technology and Communications team, and I wasn’t sure if I felt up to the task. If these past few weeks have shown me anything, it’s that I love creating. I love making posts for GLOBE, creating themes, and putting my all into making something. GLOBE has given me back the confidence I’d lost in my ability to create, and it’s given me my passion for doing so.
My team, as always, continues to be fantastic. I really enjoy working with Sal and Jackson, and we have a great group dynamic that works so well in transference to everything we try to accomplish for our socials. What I appreciate the most is the mutual respect for everyone and their ideas on my team, and how that translates to how much work we put into our projects. Before GLOBE, I hadn’t really been a huge fan of group work, since there could be issues with members not doing their fair share, not being communicative. The problems that could arise are endless. I was anxious of that coming into GLOBE but given how my group has only continued to work well together, I had nothing to worry about.
I truly love and enjoy this program, so much that I can’t stop talking about it. All of my friends and family have listened to me talk about nothing but GLOBE over the past few weeks, which is something that’s not likely to change for the rest of the semester. I can’t wait to see what next week brings!
By: Jack Jacobi
During this past week I have been accruing some one-time purchases such as Halloween costume supplies and things in preparation for my birthday. They are all things that I could easily live without. However, I purchased them regardless. These frivolous purchases take me back to something that I have thought about since my early childhood when listening to passages from the New Testament. I recall Jesus mentioning to give freely of essentially everything that you can if it can be of benefit to someone else. This instilled in me at an early age a sense of “Catholic guilt” because I struggled with the fact that I had my needs provided for, while there were people who did not have food, housing, or anyone to remind them that they mattered.
Since participating in GLOBE, I am once again being confronted by poverty on a regular basis in a way that does not allow me to desensitize myself to it. Every time I purchase something that I do not deem to be absolutely necessary, I feel as if I am hurting the less fortunate because I am foregoing the opportunity to help someone in some way with the money spent on whatever purchase. Even if I did embrace an ascetic lifestyle and forego every fleeting earthly pleasure so that I could give to others, it would only go so far to help. However, as discussed in class today in regard to social entrepreneurs, there is a way to reimagine the whole fishing industry, so to speak. Now I would like to dedicate more of my time to changing the proverbial fishing industry. I only worry about my motivation for this cause.
Not to get too deep in the weeds on the philosophy, but I feel as if my intentions might not be pure even if I want to help others. They might be selfish because I want to help others to somehow placate the guilt that I feel for their suffering. This is another thought that I have had since my childhood that is rooted in the Catechism. I used to spend more time wondering if people acting holy because they fear eternal damnation can actually be considered holy. As I have gotten older, however, I no longer care why people do what they do, so long as it is for the benefit of others. Since nobody can read minds, nobody will ever truly know someone’s intentions behind their actions for certain.
This week I took what Dr. Sama always says, “Talk about GLOBE each and every time you have the chance to,” and ran with it! I can’t stop talking about the amazing opportunity I have received by being a part of an inspirational and impactful class. During my theology class, we were discussing the meaning of “The Kingdom of God,” which led to the idea that this kingdom is on Earth and believers are meant to act in the way of Jesus through actions of love and compassion, especially towards the most vulnerable in our society. I saw this as the perfect opportunity to share the mission of GLOBE and encourage those in the class to check out the website or even donate. I explained the microloans we provide to the poorest people as we intend to alleviate poverty through entrepreneurship. Relating specifically to the focus of the class, I mentioned our affiliation with the Daughters of Charity who help us tremendously by connecting us to potential borrowers. This discussion in itself helped me to reflect on our impact and the weight of our mission. As I learn more about my faith and intend to live in a more fulfilling and giving way, I am using the values and knowledge I gain from the GLOBE class to start a similar project in the future. More specifically, I hope to start my own business in the future and dedicate a portion of the profit to microfinance whether that be a fund similar to GLOBE or a financial literacy initiative. This is why I am so excited to meet and hear Evan talk about his own business and social impact! I am most interested in the process of a social business as a part of a whole business and the ways in which these are conducted, specifically in the United States.
I also had the opportunity to speak about our class with my internship managers. We have weekly meetings in which all the managers and staff of the risk management department give updates on our lives and work. Every week my manager asks me about school and this week I explained the concept of our class along with the fact that we have our own fund made possible through donations. My manager found this so interesting, it led to a whole group discussion on microfinance. I felt as though this conversation starter allowed me to start an educational discussion and showed me what a professional side discussion truly is. Hopefully from that discussion we will have a few new donors!
All in all, pushing myself to speak about the class and its great impact on others has made me realize I truly enjoy the work we do! I look forward to the possibility of building on what I have learned here to impact more people in the future!
And I thought last week was busy.
This week beats the last, mostly because of midterms and all that fun stuff, but my team and I have managed to find some time in our busy and complicated schedules to meet up and talk about our other objectives. We’re definitely progressing, which is great, but I feel like time is flying by. I don’t want my semester with GLOBE to end just yet.
Tonight, we had a guest speaker in class, Evan, who is a former GLOBE manager and St. John’s alumni. It was so cool and inspiring to hear about his journey post-GLOBE and college. These past few days I’ve been thinking about my future, and it’s been so nerve-wracking to even think about. After this semester, I only have one more left and then out into the “real world” I go. To be honest, I have no idea what I’m doing. When I was sitting there, listening to Evan speak so excitedly and passionately about his own achievements, I realized that the main goal isn’t scoring a nine to five. Yes, it would be nice to have that right after I graduate, but it shouldn’t be my number one priority. Finding something I have passion for (as cliché as it sounds) should be the main goal. This class has taught me that it’s not impossible to give back to communities while simultaneously making profit. I can work with the things I learn in class and use them to help communities around the world. Now that’s a job.
I think I’ll always rave about GLOBE to everyone I meet because I know for a fact, I will learn lessons that I can carry on for the rest of my life. It’s not just a class where we have homework and tests every week, rather it’s somewhere where we’re not only making an impact in the lives of others, but an impact in our own lives as well.
This week has been hectic due to midterm exams, but GLOBE has been on the top of my list, as the Colors of GLOBE tie-dye event has been finalized for October 25th. Since it has been finalized, I created a flyer with Lina in order to promote the event coming up in the following weeks. My team and I are very excited to further plan the behind-the-scenes and full details of the event, and we’re positive the event will be successful in raising funds and attention for GLOBE. I’m confident the event will be a hit and could become an event for future GLOBE managers to plan and look forward to. My team and I are also discussing the GiveCampus campaign and narration, although we are a little behind schedule with planning GiveCampus due to planning the Colors of GLOBE event. My team and I are still working together to determine the best campaign narrative.
This week has shown me how important working alongside your team members is and communicating with them to ensure every aspect or idea is considered and discussed. While working on the first copy of the flyer, there were some details I included that I wasn’t sure would be read well by St. John’s students who aren’t already aware of GLOBE. For example, as a GLOBE manager, I know we are hosting the event to raise funds for our campaign, but I forgot to include the fact that the price of the ticket goes towards the cost of materials and the rest towards a donation to our borrowers. Communicating and working with the other Marketing team members brought this issue to light, and we were able to update the flyer to include a sentence about GLOBE. This also served as a reminder that I have to consider other perspectives, not just my own, as we want to ensure everyone has the chance to learn about and support GLOBE as a program. This also applies to other areas of my life as I have to remember nobody else sees the world the exact same way as I do, everyone has their own priorities and their own way of thinking that sets us all apart. With this being said, I am excited to further work on the fundraising events this semester and can’t wait to see other St. John’s students’ reactions and participation in the Colors of GLOBE tie-dye event.
This past week we did our second oral reading summary of the semester, where we discussed social business and the value of infrastructure. We had done well on our first presentation, and that gave us the confidence to take the feedback we’d been given and put it into practice. The subject matter we presented was very interesting in itself, and I found it fascinating to read more about how social entrepreneurship and the empowerment of people within poverty-ridden communities can really transform an entire town. It was also interesting to learn about the process of poverty and escaping poverty, since usually the subject is treated with a certain level of reproach, and people living in poverty are often not treated as equals. They are treated as people who are not worth knowing, and written off by some, mainly those in power, because of their current situations. Local governments, even when they’re trying to help, can hinder at times, since they fail to consider that these people have any skills at all, and try to put them in programs that never find success. The key is to build upon what they already know. Reading this, I was shocked. To have taboo feelings around poverty so perfectly put into words was an eye-opener. People don’t talk about this subject in ways that come across with compassion and a desire to help. Most of the time, they are only there to judge and make themselves seem more charitable, by saving face. It reminds me of an informational show I used to watch, and in an episode regarding charity and giving, people were willing to give everything but the thing people in poverty really needed- money.
The presentation itself I’d say went well, but I was disappointed in my public speaking skills. Usually, I have no problem presenting in front of a class, but this time I was stuttering a lot, and experiencing problems with breath control, which was perplexing until I woke up the next day and realized I was sick. With midterms and lots of deadlines to meet, needless to say, it’s been a very hectic week. For GLOBE, we’ve been able to stay on top of our posting schedule over the past week, as we’ve been trying to keep all socials as active as possible, in order to spread the GLOBE message and keep engagement high. I believe our efforts have had their benefits, as we’ve gained almost thirty followers since we’ve taken over the accounts and counting.
GLOBE also had its first info session yesterday, which I believe went well, since all four of our attendees followed us on our social medias after the session. They definitely held an even stronger interest in GLOBE after learning more about it, which I couldn’t be happier about. I personally cannot seem to stop talking about GLOBE, and a friend who attended yesterday’s info session couldn’t wait to apply for the spring class. While we hadn’t had as many attendees as I’d originally hoped, I remain positive and hopeful for a bigger turnout at the next one, which will be after the tie-dye event. I’m hoping that event will create a bigger interest in GLOBE. One trend I’m noticing is how little information people have about GLOBE, and how so many don’t know it exists on campus. It’s astounding, and a problem I want to tackle even further for the rest of the semester. Overall, leaving this chaotic week, I’m feeling determined and hopeful for the future.