BADM 1002 11 First Year Development

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Diversity is incredibly important for personal development and community engagement. Within the GW community, it is integral to always keep an open mind and stay conscious of other cultures, religions, and ways of life. Diversity is the recognition that each individual is unique, having their own interests, passions, and way of life. Inclusion is that act of accepting and embracing this individuality. In order for diversity to properly enhance a community, inclusion is paramount. I believe that diversity and inclusion can help individuals become more open minded and see the world through different perspectives. As GWSB students, this mindset is crucial as it enables us to recognize and understand the ways in which the members of our community live. As we move to become business leaders, an understanding of other cultures and perspectives can be advantageous towards solving problems within a community.
The event I attended was an open mic night that celebrated the Asian Pacific Islander community. This event was incredibly transformative for me learning about South Asian culture, heritage, and way of life. A lot of interesting stories were told regarding how South Asians were originally discriminated against the U.S., however over the years the community has climbed up the socioeconomic ladder. These stories helped me reflect on my own cultural identity as an Italian American whose family suffered a degree of prejudice upon immigrating to the states. However, like the South Asian community, my family persevered through adversity and worked hard to move up the socioeconomic scale. Additionally, this event allowed me to understand how the South Asian community lives. Through this new perspective, I will be able to communicate and engage with more individuals in the GW community and beyond. This new insight into the Asian Pacific culture will forever enhance my inclusionary capabilities as a business leader.
The showcase presentation that was most impactful to me was called Tea and Conversation, presented by Kiana Lee and several other students. This presentation and project focused on building a community at St. Mary's Court near Foggy Bottom and educating the people there about the principles of ethical leadership and similar skills through conversations while drinking tea. This was the most impactful showcase presentation to me because they taught people skills not through a lecture or with any material but with conversations, which I feel is very different and cool because the fact that these people learn through conversations can both teach us and others we are all human and there is more in common between all of us than we might believe at first.

For the 2:30-3:30 sessions, I attended the sustainability session, which taught us about the Last Call for Food and Community Engagement Consulting programs. I learned that community engagement can relate to students in GW as well, which is contrasting to my previous belief that community engagement mainly consists of more privileged people helping those who are less fortunate. For example, we learned about the Last Call for Food program and website, which helps GW students look for high-quality food for under $5, something that is improbable to find in Washington DC, where the cost of living is very high. This and CEC taught me to always look towards the community engagement scholarship because it can help me with my own career while developing me to become a better person.
I attended the Tea and Conversation showcase presentation, which was the most impactful for me. The project was focused on building community at St. Mary's Court and also focused on the principles of ethical leadership through conversations with the elderly community while drinking tea. The group wanted to create long-term, impactful relationships with the elderly. This was very inspiring to me because this age group is often neglected in daily life and the students that led this project were very involved and wanted to make a difference.
I attended the Community Engaged Consulting and Last Call panel session. I learned that community engaged scholarship can relate to an issue students have in everyday life. For example, the Last Call website was developed based on the issue of food insecurity in college. The founders took an issue they were dealing with and implemented their ideas to help others dealing with the same problems. I also learned that with community engaged scholarship, you can see the results of your work directly, which is something that is important for me in m future career.
The showcase I found most interesting and impactful was the Tea and Conversation presentation. This initiative was presented by Kiana Lee and a few other students. Their service learning project focused on visiting elderlies in elderly residential homes, interacting with them-through playing games and talking-, to ultimately develop a long term relationship. I think this was especially meaningful to me because I had started a service org in my high school that also centers around the elderly community. I think they are often a neglected part of society, and was very excited to hear that other students also noticed this problem and set out to give attention and care to the elderly.

I attended the panel called “Last Call and Community Engaged Consulting”. I learned that we should really take advantage of the resources provided at GW, to make our own business ideas become reality. Both of the founders for the two organizations were GW students, who received money to fund their business through the Case competition.
The most impactful showcase presentation that I listened to was from Gwendolyn Loeber, a student who researched the genealogy of employment and criminal records for UW. She presented the issues with incarceration and the introduction back into society. Loeber discussed how there is racial bias when previously imprisoned individuals apply for jobs and considered the pros and cons of solutions to this issue. I found this very intriguing since it wasn't something I initially thought of when thinking of bias during job applications and the different perspective was very interesting. I attended the Last Call which focused on food insecurity. This was very interesting since I learned how much people with privilege, such as college students, waste on a day to day basis which opened my eyes to the issue.
The showcase presentation that was most impactful was an organization Free Minds Book Club. It's about writing letters, transcribing poems, and giving feedback to DC youth incarcerated. The reason I think it's impactful to me is that firstly I've never seen any organization like this, it's doing something which in my opinion is needed. It's providing an opportunity for those teenagers to change. (I don't know how to add a picture in this comment.
The session attend is in room 307 called "When service meets INNOVATIVE THINKERS" It taught me a lot of things. The connection is really important no matter what you plan to do. An idea might be really important, but you would need a lot of help when you plan to make it come true. Also, persistence is important. Since you might encounter a lot of problems, and you need to get over them.
The showcase presentation that was most impactful for me was presented Prarthana Hareesh on the interaction between intellectual disability and cerebral palsy on the co-occurrence of Autism spectrum disorder and epilepsy. I thought it was interesting that through her research she was able to conclude that there is a 15% higher probability of co-occurrence of epilepsy and ASD if you have cerebral palsy. It extremely important to inform someone if they have cerebral palsy that they are also at risk for seizures.

I attended the sustainability forum featuring Chloe King, the Founder and COO at Last Call and Dylan Tally, the Executive Director and Founder of Community Engagement Consulting. One major takeaway from their presentations was that if you have even the slightest idea for how to improve the way things are done, you need to take it and run with it. The Nashman center has an abundance of resources and mentors that can guide your small idea into something remarkable. Specifically, Chloe talked about how at the GW Venture Competition she received $20,000 to finance her business when they were originally working off of $5,000. This was inspiring to me because I would love to start my own socially responsible business and it was reassuring to see that two other students were able to do so with the resources at GW.
I attended the GWCompost presentation, this is also the most impactful to me. With the sustainability of the earth continuing to be a problem for the globe, their actions on collecting and weighing compostable materials make me think more about this topic.
I attended the session about food waste. After working at SOME as a volunteer, I had some idea on people that do not have food. However, I did not know that 643 million meals were wasted every year which is shocking to me. I learned a lot from the presentation, and it helped me understand the fact people like us who live in the first-world countries have the privilege over those who don't. While they are struggling with survival, we are enjoying the privileges we have.
The showcase presentation most impactful to me was in room 302, and it involved multiple students showing us their videos from their service learning courses. The service learning they did was with a Spanish class, and they worked in the community with Spanish speaking individuals. This was most impactful to me as I have been taking Spanish for many years, and I come from a neighborhood with many immigrants from Spanish speaking countries, who maybe are at a disadvantage of resources because they do not know English well. It was great to see the Spanish community being benefited here in D.C. by enthusiastic students.
From 2:30-3:30, I attended the session in 302 which was a video presentation as opposed to a poster board presentation. Something new I learned about community engaged scholarship is that It can be applied to a specific course subject, such as how the Spanish service learning courses helped Spanish communities in D.C. I had a great time at the symposium.
The showcase I found most interesting and impactful was one presented by student, Gwendolyn Loeber, on the genealogy of employment and criminal records. She discussed how genealogy can affect employment and criminal records, and how it cannot be based off of racial identities. This was impactful to me especially because of the current climate that our society is in. Often times we may jump to conclusions based off of race and personal identities, but these assumptions should be avoided to stop bias.

Of the six sessions, I attended one about journalism and visual documentaries of the DC community. The documentaries that were put together by students in SMPA impressed me because of the various creative approaches they each took to capturing the communities. They touched on serious subjects, such as sexual abuse, and made me realize that there is a lot more going on around us than we may think. Just because we may not be aware of something does not mean that it does not exist. These documentaries broadened my span of knowledge on various things that people in the DC community are facing today. Therefore, it is important to address these issues because they are so prevalent in the community that we live in.