In today's money-hungry world, career men and women, as well as the collegiate population, are mesmerized by thoughts of personal gain. Newspapers, television, movies, professors, and peers significantly influence an individual's perception of his or her role in society and the contributions he or she chooses to make. When deciding whether or not to invest time and effort into a particular task, individuals usually ask themselves, "How will this benefit me?" or "Will this look good on my resume?" The time has come for these individuals to become pathbreakers and take innovative approaches to meet community needs and break away from simple self-gratification.
How can individuals serve the community as well as be true to themselves? Social Entrepreneurism. It is the modernization of how non-profit organizations do business. Following the lead of our nation's 5 million industrious small businesses, non-profit organizations are learning to run their operations with more innovation and efficiency. In an attempt to accomplish this goal, non-profit organizations have been encouraging volunteers to employ an entrepreneurial spirit, opening many doors for visionary and problem-solving creativity. In particular, non-profit organizations are reaching out to the college student population.
In many respects, Social Entrepreneurism can be better than a paid internship for students. Volunteering is a very personally rewarding experience that builds character while strengthening the very communities in which we live. This thought can be encapsulated by the profound words of President John F. Kennedy, "And so, my fellow Americans: Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country." These words can be used to inspire America's youth to take on more personal responsibility and make a commitment to community involvement.
College students are encouraged to seek community service and volunteer opportunities that are personally meaningful and will improve the quality of life for others. For example, a nursing student could educate the local community on the importance of AIDS Awareness. As a peer role model, he/she can advocate for responsible decision-making, healthy values and norms, and improved communication skills by attending and presenting at several youth group meetings. This example illustrates a nursing student doing specific volunteer work pertaining to his/her major while saving lives.
Overall, college students need to be informed of the benefits of being a social entrepreneur. There is usually flexibility in being a social entrepreneur because students can volunteer when their schedules permit. Non-profit organizations are aware of this and will work around student volunteers' schedules. These experiences can give students the edge even more so than receiving good grades alone. They will be respected in the community and can use that respect to successfully network and pursue other service arenas.
To demonstrate how Social Entrepreneurism has been used throughout the world, take a man by the name of Korak Day, the award-winning director of My Karma. By using profits from the film and sacrificing much of his time, Day significantly expanded a non-profit organization that offers services for low-income communities in India.
Ideas to be instilled in today's young adults: