In this issue of Babson Magazine, senior editor John Crawford writes about traveling with a Babson team to the village of Getsemani in El Salvador to help Habitat for Humanity build a home. Under the guidance of the Office of Faith and Service, Babson has been working with Habitat in El Salvador since 2007.
As a member of the Babson community, you shouldn’t be surprised to hear that several years ago team members also found a way to share their passion for and expertise in entrepreneurship with interested villagers, a program that has become an integral part of what the team aims to accomplish on its trips. Now, half the Babson team works on the Habitat job site, while the other half teaches business skills to local residents. In my opinion, their contributions reach far beyond the houses they build.
Helping others by sharing our experience and expertise is one of Babson’s best attributes. This commitment to volunteerism is something that initially not only attracted me to Babson, but also was a way in which I felt an immediate, deep connection to the community. Since 2008, I’ve been able to share my experience in governing with aspiring young Afghan lawyers as part of the U.S. Department of State’s Public-Private Partnership for Justice Reform in Afghanistan. I find the determination and courage of these young scholars deeply inspiring as they work to achieve what we in this country too often take for granted—equality under the law, security, and the civil institutions necessary to support a fair, open, and prosperous society.
At Babson, our commitment to sharing knowledge, expertise, and experience extends beyond El Salvador through various educational programs in other countries, including Tanzania, Ghana, and Rwanda. Babson also nurtures local volunteer initiatives, such as Lemonade Day, which introduces Boston elementary school students to entrepreneurship through the creation of their own lemonade stands. On campus, our award-winning “Foundations of Management and Entrepreneurship” course provides one example of how social responsibility is embedded in what we teach. As student teams create their FME businesses, they also partner with local service organizations and donate any profits to them. Since 1999, students have donated nearly $445,000. As part of FME, students also donate community service hours. In fact, during the past year, Babson faculty, staff, and students donated more than 29,000 hours of their time in service to others.
Wherever they go, our students, staff, and faculty fulfill our mission by sharing their knowledge to help create social and economic value. I’m proud that the Babson community lives its values here and around the world. We do this because we believe that teaching and learning is not only transformational for those involved, but also the best hope to create a more just world built on a foundation of intellectual freedom, economic opportunity, and societal improvement.