October 25, 2011 | 8:27 AM
"My father once told me that while I may not be able to change the world, I can change the world for one person. Ever since, I’ve set my sights on changing that one world at the very least."
- Audrey, Grameen U President
- Audrey, Grameen U President
Why is it important that college students be part of the microfinance efforts and Grameen America specifically? What do they contribute to the sector?
Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
College students are true agents for change. They demonstrate unrivaled commitment to making a difference and are particularly open to innovative and bold ideas. Engaging college students in the microfinance sector secures its place in the future as an effective approach to poverty alleviation worldwide.
How do you describe the Grameen U program to other students?
Grameen U is a student-run initiative intended to educate college campuses about domestic microfinance and to raise awareness of Grameen America’s pioneering work in the sector.
If students are reading this right now what is the first step in getting involved?
Take a walk around your neighborhood and acquaint yourself with one person in need. That’s all it takes. Sign up to be a Grameen U representative and start spreading the word that Grameen America can bring hope and opportunity to your community.
What are your top 3 goals for Grameen U?
1) Communicate the breadth and prevalence of poverty in the United States to as many college students as possible.
2) Demonstrate how domestic microfinance is an effective solution to unemployment and financial exclusion.
3) Educate students as to how they can “be the change” in their own backyard.
Given you’re a highly ambitious student, can you describe your typical school day?
As a student at Northeastern University, I am fortunate enough to participate in its cooperative education program. While I spent last semester waking up for 8 AM finance classes, living off of coffee and studying for midterms through the night, I’ve been spending this semester working from nine to five, attending conferences and Skyping with international loan officers at Root Capital.
What is one book or film that significantly influenced your path and why?
Tracy Kidder’s Mountains Beyond Mountains, a biography of Dr. Paul Farmer, co-founder of Partners in Health (PIH). PIH strives to provide the poor with first-rate medical care by establishing long-term partnerships with local organizations in countries such as Haiti, Rwanda, Peru PIH’s proactive, rather than reactive, approach to healthcare has greatly influenced my path to social change.
What is the wildest food you ever ate while travelling?
I’m going to be honest and say the riskiest thing I’ve ever eaten was a chocolate lollipop made by a sixth grader from Roxbury, Massachusetts, in order to support his microbusiness. You never know where their hands have been!
What’s a song that would be on the soundtrack of your life?
“A Change is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke.
If you could create a tweet that describes your personal goals and career path, what would it be?
@grameenamerica "The only place where poverty should be is in museums."- Muhammad Yunus #socent #microfinance