Guest Post by Kathryn DeSutter
Jan. 25 — Just before lunch, audience members heard from a group of students who have spent their winter term launching the BASES project, an initiative that aims to provide boys in the Bronx with a three-pronged mentorship program in academics, career training and baseball. The BASES founders, six Middlebury students, hope that these pillars will present kids from the Bronx with the opportunities and tools necessary to graduate college and launch a career.
After the BASES presentation, students from the winter term MiddCORE program and the Social Entrepreneurship in the Liberal Arts course presented project proposals developed around issues of education, housing and food in Addison County. These presentations were a great opportunity to see social entrepreneurship in action!
Friday afternoon, students had the chance to attend two of four social justice workshops. In between the workshop, participants took a “Runa break” in place of a coffee break. Runa founders hope to share guayusa tea with the world while supporting the indigenous farmers in the Amazon.
Lisa Nitze, Managing Director of Mission Measurement, led a workshop titled “Measuring Social Impact is Critical for Being Able to Scale Social Impact.” Nitze’s workshop highlighted the necessity for credible, feasible and valuable metrics to measure the social impact of companies in the for-profit sector as well as organizations in the non-profit sector.
Katie Sparkes ’09 and Carrie Sparkes ’10 both found careers as teachers after graduating from Middlebury and co-led a workshop titled “Sisters, Classrooms and How They Got There.”
Anke Wessels, Executive Director of the Center for Transformative Action (CTA), led a workshop titled “Business Model Generation.” CTA, a non-profit organization affiliated with Cornell University, provides training and fiscal support to social entrepreneurs.
Director of New York City Department of Parks and Recreation GreenThumb Program Edie Stone and Outreach Coordinator for the GreenThumb program Kenny Williams ’12 co-led a workshop titled “Asset-Based Community Development Mapping.” GreenThumb supports community garden initiatives in NYC that aim to achieve long-term community development.