“Who Knows Where It Will Take Me?”

Jake Puzycki reflected on his experience with this post:

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“My group members and I had quite an interesting experience this summer. We were given a very undefined goal: utilize new technologies and new innovations to help eliminate poverty in small Kenyan communities.

To begin we wanted to see how feasible it was for inexperienced individuals to use new technologies, so we built our own 3D printer: a technology that was new to me, and had blown my mind just months before.

Through that process, we discovered that we were capable of more than we had thought we were. None of us had real experience in engineering, yet we were able to build this complicated device, as long as we had proper guidance, support, and motivation.

That mental framework became the foundation of our project: that people are capable of much more than they may think they are. We decided that the best thing we could do for a group of people, struggling with poverty, was to empower them to help themselves.

So, after undergoing 4 weeks of brainstorming and idea analysis, we decided that we would develop a curriculum that Kenyan community leaders could use to help struggling entrepreneurs in their communities. The curriculum focuses on developing business skills and discovering creative new ways of thinking, that they may solve problems in their communities- benefiting their own lives and giving sustainable growth to their local economies.

I can say for sure that this project has changed the way I think about “work”. It was the first time I’ve set the criteria for what “success” looks like and it built an important bridge between my college experience and “the real world”. I’m really excited for where this project will go, and hope to continue this work through the rest of the school year or even beyond. Who knows where it will take me?”

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