Summer Scholars Program

In addition to our typical grants, SIPS offers stipends that will help fund students with unpaid summer internships in the social innovation/public service sectors. In our inaugural 2014 Summer Scholars program, SIPS allocated a total of $9000 to seven students.

Summer 2014 Summer Scholars

Adan Gonzalez - Adan interned at the White House, working on initiatives to improve education for minority students. Two years ago he founded the Si Se Puede network to give underprivileged students the tools to become scholars at some of the best universities. He brought the programming he developed at Si Se Puede to the White House, allowing him to have a high degree of agency in his internship as well as a measured social impact. 

Abby Grace - Abby traveled to China to the Yellow River Basin where cotton is produced to collect artifacts, conduct interviews, and visit several landmarks, all the while documenting her trip. She then developed a curriculum and program to teach elementary school students in the Mississippi River Delta, another area of high cotton production, about the Chinese culture and similarities between the two societies.

Noora Mahmassani - Noora interned full-time in DC as an associate with the Central Office of the DC Public Schools system, improving the District’s English as a second language and bilingual programs. After direct observation in the classroom, she helped develop solutions and advocate for reform in early childhood education in the public school system. Her work lies in an area of definite social need, as DC dropout rates highly exceed the national average. 

Elyssa Skeirik - Elyssa volunteered in Amman, Jordan at a refugee camp for Syrians fleeing the civil war. She has begun a modified Girl Scout program in which about 70 girls are currently a part of. She hopes to remain in Jordan this summer to continue the program and develop its activities to fit the environment of the camp. She also plans to train community leaders on how to operate the program in hopes that it will continue after she leaves.

Jasmin Joseph - Jasmin interned with the Social Entrepreneurship Corps this summer in Nicaragua where she traveled to four different cities working with local artisans. At two sites, her role was to consult these artisans on how to produce more efficiently and especially how to market to tourists. At the other two, she trained women in business techniques so that they could sell materials provided by the program, such as cook stoves and solar lamps. 

Adebusola Awosanya - Adebusola traveled to Nairobi, Kenya to research the stigma of mental health among women and how illnesses like depression relate to other illnesses. She interviewed women using a questionnaire she developed and wrote a paper outlining her findings as well as policy recommendations to be published. In a region where one psychiatrist exists for every 500,000 patients, her work has an impact in an area with high social need.

CERAP Scholars Program

In 2014, the SIPS Fund teamed up with Centre de Recherche et d'Action pour la Paix (Center for Research and Action for Peace) in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, to directly link Georgetown University undergraduate students with budding entrepreneurs in West Africa.  Under the direction of Professor François Kaboré, S.J., fellows spend four weeks consulting with policy makers and working directly with inventors. Students learned about the challenges that entrepreneurs in the region face, and they have the opportunity to develop their own solutions for both institutional dilemmas and project designs.

CERAP Scholars 2014

Alyssa Staats (SFS ’15) – Alyssa is a rising senior in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service pursuing an International Economics major and an African studies certificate. She will be examining the intersections of gender, culture, innovation, and entrepreneurship in the Burkinabé context. With her research and data analysis, she wants to identify a few key common barriers faced by female entrepreneurs and innovators in West Africa and suggest policy solutions to facilitate women’s business establishment. To answer this, she will investigate the barriers to female entrepreneurship and innovation in the Ivory Coast by conducting a series of oral interviews with female entrepreneurs and innovators affiliated with CERAP regarding the major economic, social, and political institutional challenges they have faced in establishing their businesses either formally or informally or both. She will ask questions regarding current, prior, and anticipated future challenges, and she hope to obtain a wide data set that includes individuals of varying success rates. Furthermore, she will ask entrepreneurs, policymakers, and/or CERAP academics about some perceived solutions to these challenges. Using her data, she hopes to develop an impartial collection of some of the major barriers that aspiring Ivorian microenterprise-women face and provide some insight as to potential methods to diminish them.

Sarah Mock (SFS ’15) – Growing up on a farm in rural Wyoming, agriculture is in Sarah’s blood. She didn’t realize how unique and important this passion would be until she arrived at Georgetown, where she found herself gravitating towards classes and activities tied to agriculture, the environment, and rural development. She envisions a three-pronged project on creating incentives for sustainable agricultural innovation. The outcome for her project will be a policy recommendation on the role of the private-sector in stimulating and disseminating social innovations in this sector. With the challenges that this region faces with regards to climate change, she wants to look at social innovation relating to the agricultural sector, and thus working with innovators in the that sector would be optimal. She wants to focus not only on physical inventions, but also on technological innovation in terms of management practices for land, soil, water, crops and/or livestock. She will also take a closer look at the policy-level resources available in terms of agricultural extension, but from the innovators perspective. By understanding the challenges faced by individual innovators in terms of protecting, marketing and distributing, and being compensated for their innovation, both in the public and private sectors, she will be able to make a policy recommendation outlining the role of private institutions and specific private incentive programs in encouraging social innovation in the agricultural sector.

Read more about Sarah and Alyssa under our "Portfolio" tab!