Article by: Akshay Sharathchandra
“It takes a village to raise a child”
Service has always been a fundamental part of ISM – everyone is encouraged to get involved with the local community and “Do More.” Alumni Michi Ferreol, who is currently at her third year in Harvard College, is a great testimony to this. She has taken this component outside of ISM and helped organize a program under the Igniting Innovations Summit called Village To Raise A Child. This program allows high school entrepreneurs from all over the world submit service-oriented ideas that could potentially change the earth. These ideas do not only involve youth empowerment, but are also community-based. The public then votes on their favorite projects, narrowing the number of candidates to 15 semi-finalists to be interviewed by the Summit. Finally, five students are chosen to travel to Harvard, where they will receive the financial aid needed to bring their ideas to life.
This year, ISM student Ria Golovakova, along with Katya Doroschenko from Ukraine, decided to submit their own project to the contest. They plan to make a website similar to that of the popular Facebook page, Humans of New York. The Summit’s financial aid would allow them to capture images, footage, and messages that portray “the real spirit of the Ukrainian people.”
Although the project has just begun, they have already interviewed many people with inspiring stories, including the father of a man who lost his leg in battle. It was due to stories such as this that they decided to do everything they could to help those in similar situations. To those interested in similar projects, Ria advises, “No matter how cliché it sounds, anything worthwhile only comes with a certain amount of risk. Once other people get involved, the momentum just starts rolling and your ideas are not yours anymore, they are now everybody else’s too, and that is truly a wonderful feeling.”
Ria and Katya’s idea will be considered by judges based on the number of votes she receives.
Voting ends on September 10; you can vote here: http://www.ignitinginnovationsummit.com/public-voting-2014/. Their project is entitled “Mariya Golovakova, Zhytomyr, Ukraine.”
For more information about Ria’s project and the Village To Raise A Child contest, check out these these links: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxUQO15yoa8