Tag Archives: starr fellowship

A Note to First Year Students

Amelia Friedman ’14… well, she’ll tell you what she does in a second. This is her second post; you can read her first post here.


By now, you’ve been here for a month. I bet it’s flown by.

I’m about to start my senior year at Brown, and let me tell you: It happens faster than you’d believe. In the past three years, I have taught English to adult learners in Olneyville, volunteered in Hasbro Children’s Hospital, designed an immersive service learning program for students who stick around during winter break, and been supported by the Swearer Center in launching my own social venture that works with universities to diversify global engagement. For good measure, I also work at the Swearer Center (mostly because of the fancy coffee machine).

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Sowing the $eeds

Rie Ohta ’13.5 is a Starr Fellow working on a semester-long workshop called $ocial Classmates that aims to create a safe space in which Brown students may constructively explore social class. This is Rie’s second update; read her first post here.

ImageI had expected that by the end of the summer things would have changed – something unexpected and fascinating would have happened – and I was a little unnerved that it didn’t. I continued working as I had throughout the summer, developing curricula and reaching out to people and groups on campus to try and connect.

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Metro Doors Closing


Lauren Behgam ’15 is a Starr Fellow living in Washington D.C. this summer working on the Food Recovery NetworkThis is Lauren’s second post, find her first one here.

The D.C. Metro was primary form of transportation this summer and I would use my time on the train to reflect and relax. I would travel between a student incubator called the Startup Shell, D.C. Central Kitchens, and the C.E.T. (Center for Employment Training) at S.O.M.E. (So Others Might Eat) in Anacostia. I also did my best to attend special events like luncheons, press conferences, and speeches in the city that related to my work with FRN.

One particular Tuesday stands out as the most memorable day of the summer. That morning, I taught two computer classes at the the C.E.T. to a group adult students in a self paced job training program. Afterwards, I rode the Metro to Dupont Circle for a roundtable luncheon with some key players in the food waste arena. While my trip between the two neighborhoods was only seven Metro stops, Anacostia and Dupont Circle represent opposite ends of the socioeconomic spectrum in our nation’s capital. Anacostia is one of the poorest neighborhoods in D.C., while Dupont Circle is one of the most affluent.

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Changing Mindsets

Florian Schalliol ’14.5 is a Starr Fellow living in India working on GOOD/CORPS India. This is Flo’s second update; read his first post here.

As a social entrepreneur offering a product or service, there are two types of changes you can bring: a shift in availability and a change in mindsets. The former occurs when a new social innovation increases access to a certain product or ease with which a certain impact is achieved. In the last few decades alone, such changes have given financial credit to millions of the world’s nearly impoverished and provided foodstuffs to hundreds of millions of the truly impoverished.

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Ready or Not

Hannah Bebbington ’14 is a Starr Fellow working for the Better World by Design conference. This is Hannah’s second post, find her first one here.

Today marks the 5-week out date. We launch September 27th, welcoming hundreds of students, entrepreneurs, professors, politicians, scientists, and innovators to Brown and RISD’s campus – whether we are ready or not. We have spent the last 10 months planning each detail, networking in Providence, inviting our newest heroes, and agonizing over email text. There will be no dress rehearsal, only the real deal. There will be sleepless nights over coordinating all presenters’ schedules and moments of panic when we realize we’ve forgotten to order napkins for dinner. But, in the end, we know we will have done everything we can to ensure a smooth and seamless conference. Is that what its all about though?

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The Importance of Accessibility

Thaya Uthayophas ’15 is a Starr Fellow living in Hartford, Connecticut working on iTeachCommunity. This is Thaya’s second post, find his first one here.

 I have four main responsibilities as a Starr Fellow for iTeachCommunity: 1) organize a database that is reachable worldwide for iTeach and its partners, 2) come up with a vision statement and guiding values for iTeach that is resonant to the general public, 3) denote the roles of each members of iTeach, and 4) forge a clear understanding between ITeach and its partner schools through the form of written contracts. In other words, I was tasked with making iTeachCommunity as accessible a program as possible for both our partners and volunteers.

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Finding A Common Language For Change

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Amelia Friedman ‘14 is a Starr Fellow working on the Student Language Exchange.

Anyone who has ever spoken to me for over 5 minutes knows that I’m a language geek. So, when asked to talk about what I’ve learned over the course of this summer, of course I’m going to talk about language.

Per the suggestion of Starr mentor Deb Mills-Scofield, I read Chip and Dan Heath’s book Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard at the beginning of this summer. Chip and Dan use a unique analogy for change:

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2-for-1 Friday: Confronting The Brutal Facts


Andrew Kaplan ’15 and Sam Gilman ’15 are Starr Fellows working on building a grassroots organization, Common Sense ActionThis is Andrew’s and Sam’s second post; find their first one here.

You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end – which you can never afford to lose – with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”   – Admiral Jim Stockdale

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The Value of Fun


Alexander Hadik ’15 is a Starr Fellow living in Providence working on A Better World by Design. This is his second post; find his first post here.

Entrepreneurship is a famously demanding career, which is why for successful entrepreneurs, it’s not a career, it’s a life style. For social entrepreneurs, this life style stands to be even more all-consuming. After all, your minimum viable product isn’t just defined by how much a user likes it, but also by its social impact. That’s a hefty call to action and the reason that social entrepreneurship isn’t a 9 to 5 summer job. It’s a 24/7 initiative for your entire team.

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Expect The Unexpected

Sofia Ruiz ‘14.5 is a Starr Fellow living in Mexico City this summer and working on the venture Hands for Latin America. This is Sofia’s second post; find her first one here.

The summer is almost coming to an end, and it seems like only yesterday we were still in workshops with our fellow Starrs and mentors talking about our plans for the summer and now it’s almost over.

Wrapping up my time here in Mexico I think I’ve really learned the value of having back-up plans for your back-up plans. Life gets in the way and as an individual, especially as social entrepreneurs, we have to be ready to react, reflect, and adjust. I came to Mexico at the start of these ten weeks with a very neat, organized and (may I add) color-coded plan of what each week was going to look like as well as an extensive list of contacts and people I thought I was going to have on my team to help me on this journey. I can tell you honestly – NONE of the planning I did ever panned out. INSTEAD a whole new plan was forged from a single chance meeting with a friend of a friend of a friend.

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