It’s only 11:24am and I’ve already had two deep thoughts this morning haha. They are completely unrelated, but both relevant to things going on in my life.
Last night I was feeling a bit…blah. It was one of those nights when you don’t want to stay in but you don’t want to go out, you want to be social but you don’t want to be social- a tough predicament! Mostly I’m just ready to be back in NC, and I feel like I’m twiddling my thumbs until I get there. I thought how fun it would be to be out with strangers, not caring about what I said said or did, mingling, getting to know cool people…and the perfect opportunity arose! I had been invited to a group dinner and an event with someone I had met the previous weekend. In all honesty, I had every intention of backing out because I don’t know them well, but I decided to throw caution to the wind and go. I had SO much fun- we ate Mexican food (my favorite), played games at the Exchange with other DC Kickball league players, went to Dupont, played Skee Ball, and ate delicious late-night burgers. I would have missed all that fun if I had stayed in or stuck to my usual social engagements. Looking back, that’s not a very deep thought, but it was cool how such a fitting opportunity came up just when I needed it!
On a completely unrelated note, I got an email yesterday about logging hours for the Michelle Obama Service Challenge. Apparently, if you log 100+ hours of volunteering by Monday morning, you will receive “receive a certificate of achievement, a congratulatory letter from the President, and an official President’s Volunteer Service Award lapel pin.” Since I’ve done the hours, I figured I might as well get rewarded for them, even though that wasn’t my reason for doing them. But, when I went to log my internship hours with Social Enterprise Associates, I found an unexpected but not terribly surprising catch- SEA is a for-profit organization, so my 16 hours/week hours do not count toward the challenge. This got me thinking about the evolution of social enterprise (again, not surprising!) and how many people still believe for-profit and social good do not mix. I, like many of my peers, believe that for-profit or non-profit is just a tax structure- the social component can be present in either.
THIS got me thinking about my answers for my end-of-semester “learning outcomes” for my internship class.
What changes in your own belief system have resulted from your participation in this course?
Though I am still immensely interested in social enterprise, I have begun to see the limitations and challenges instead of believing it is a magical idea that will solve all of the world’s problems. Listening to my classmates’ experiences has allowed me to re-realize the value of counselor, teachers, etc- value that cannot be measured in profit.
In addition, I have had another change in my belief system since the beginning of the semester as a result of this class, my internship work, general experiences, and my Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership class. Although I do not believe that “all enterprises are social” as many argue, I have begun to believe that many businesses who are not considered “social enterprises” do in fact serve a critical social service. For example, my business plan (portfolio-building for women) would not qualify as a social enterprise because the end goal is to generate a profit, but it serves a beneficial social purpose of encouraging women to value their unique skills and abilities. This new realization is in contrast to my past belief that the end goal must be social in order for the organization to be beneficial.
And those, my friends, are my deep Sunday morning observations of life!
This week’s agenda: finish paper on the evolution of philanthropy; attend the NFTE Dare to Dream Gala, attend GW’s Women & Philanthropy Forum, present my research on food sustainability with my friend at our open class symposium, and host a clothing swap party with my friends!