Hitting the classroom – leveraging bright young minds on our mission to end abject poverty.

What do Bankers without Borders (BwB) and a handful of University of Maryland students have in common? In my mind, it is the potential to bring about great change.

Recently, I teamed up with fellow BwB team members, Shannon Maynard and Sabrina Quaraishi, to deliver a day-long orientation to a dozen of students from the University of Maryland’s Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership. The Philanthropy and Nonprofit Management program prepares undergraduate and graduate students to be leaders in addressing problems in our global society through substantial hands on experiences.
This orientation marked the beginning of what I expect will be a great and meaningful collaboration. For the first time ever, BwB is teaming up with a university to place students on consultancy projects serving social enterprises in India. Students will have the opportunity to work closely with these client organizations to develop and implement solutions that will help increase their growth and improve their ability to serve underprivileged populations. With our help, Robert Grimm, Professor and Director of the program, and Arley Donovan, Program Coordinator, will guide the students throughout the semester to develop collaborative solutions.

Over the next few months, BwB will lead several interactive learning sessions for the students and serve as a liaison between them and the social enterprises. Their work throughout the semester will culminate with a three week trip to India in January where they will work on-site with the social enterprises to implement the solutions and strategies they developed.

I was incredibly impressed by the students’ energy, ability, and commitment. Throughout the day-long orientation they remained attentive, soaking up as much information as they could from every exercise, including team building activities like assembling towers of marshmallows and toothpicks, and discussing tangible solutions to the case studies presented. I walked out of Taiaferro Hall that evening feeling incredibly energized.

I can’t wait to see what innovative solutions the students will create this semester! 

In service,

Arcelia Gomez,
Volunteer Relations Specialist, Bankers without Borders