In my freshman year of college I entered the business school at Tulane University. In school I always had a strange itch. It was small at first, I felt it when I was required to volunteer at a local elementary school in New Orleans and found that the 10 year-olds I worked had trouble completing their math because they couldn't read the problems.
The itch grew after spending a summer in Chile, where I realized that the Pinochet regime had caused a disparity in the country. This disparity allowed some (including myself) to live in beautifully restored 19th-century accommodation and enjoy some of the best wine in the world, while others squatted in tarp-roofed houses and consumed contaminated water from the ground .
While working with the Pemón indigenous community in Venezuela the following summer I helped a visiting doctor deliver two babies to 13-year old mothers. During one of the births the baby could not pass through the birth canal due to the girl's small hips. When the baby finally passed through it was resuscitated by the doctor. However, the consequences are a life of a severe brain damage in a society with little acceptance and assistance for the mentally ill.
I've attempted to scratch my itch many times, tried to ignore the fact that such great inequalities exist. I think many, like me, assuage the itch with creams, or apply band-aids in attempt to heal these itches, which inevitably return.
Over time I have realized the importance of having a balance between helping myself and helping others.
Joining Teach For America and teaching in economically disadvantaged communities for the past four years has kept this itchy rash from spreading. Knowing that each day when I stepped into my second-grade class I was making even just a small difference.
At this point in time, I could view my itch as an annoyance. Instead, I've decided to have the perspective that this itch is just a friendly reminder that there is always a way in which I can and should help others and make an impact.
Venture with Impact is for people that have that itch that they want to scratch.
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