Toward Global Good—From Rwanda to Texas
After enduring 100 days of genocide and many prior years of inner turmoil, Rwanda has spent the last 20 years successfully rebuilding its economy. Gordon’s Rwanda Seminar offers front-row seats to the country’s rapid economic developments that are establishing it as one of the fastest-growing and safest countries in Africa. The annual three-week summer experience, led by Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership Director Carter Crockett, brings a cohort of students on excursions to 30 nonprofit organizations, ranging from education to business to healthcare.
For one participant, Nathalia Moran ’18 (a double major in business administration and economics), exposure to the culture, people and organizations rebuilding Rwanda was only the beginning of an inspiring summer. “For me, I wanted the chance to observe the businesses and nonprofits,” she says. “We were able to meet people who were extremely passionate about having a social impact.”
After the seminar in June, Moran stayed in Rwanda an extra two weeks to help teach first grade in a local school. When she returned to the States, she transitioned to an internship at the Bridgeway Foundation.
A nonprofit organization based in San Antonio, the Bridgeway Foundation primarily focuses on philanthropic work and social justice issues, such as the refugee crisis, human trafficking and prevention of mass atrocities. The Foundation’s core task is to grant 50 percent of the profits from Bridgeway Capital Management to charitable organizations, creating more opportunities for global outreach.
Although 8,500 miles apart, the experience of Moran’s Texas-based internship and her time in Rwanda proved to overlap. “The seminar really helped me to step out of my American culture and realize the value of everyone’s life,” she says. “At this internship, I am constantly meeting people who are both inspiring and empowering by their examples of joy and hard work.”
Like the Rwanda Seminar, Bridgeway is exposing Moran to other nonprofit organizations working toward global good. “When I’m learning about the work different organizations are accomplishing through my research at Bridgeway,” she says, “I feel more connected and passionate about the work they’re doing”—work that she hopes to remain connected with.
“In college we are really quick to jump in and save the world, but there are so many people already at work doing wonderful things,” Moran says. The seminar and internship have taught her to first take the time to listen, learn and ask questions. “My education is invaluable.”
By Alex Rivera ’16, English language and literature