A collective goal motivated Master of International Business (MIB) students in the College of Business Administration’s Chapman Graduate School: to apply their skills in both a business and social context to help communities nearby and around the world. Their passion and commitment fueled the launch of Graduates Reaching Out Worldwide, or GROW.
“Through GROW, we hope to fortify and deepen graduate students’ understanding and appreciation of community and global service.”
—Melissa Miranda, president, GROW
MIB students plan to enlarge their community service experience by participating in GROW—Graduates Reaching Out Worldwide.
“Through GROW, we hope to fortify and deepen graduate students’ understanding and appreciation of community and global service,” said Melissa Miranda, recently elected president of the GROW chapter and slated to graduate in December, 2007. “They actively will plan and participate in international and local community service activities.”
GROW members intend to work hand in hand with local organizations, corporations, and community groups to increase awareness of the social issues affecting millions of disenfranchised people globally.
“We hope to highlight the multiple barriers pertaining to poverty, homelessness, and social injustice while gaining the experience and insight needed to become better business and community leaders,” said Sherman Humphrey (BA ’05), GROW vice president, and August, 2008, candidate for the MIB degree. “We want to promote and engage in intensive social discourse as a way to foster new ideas and become catalysts for change.”
GROW leaps into action, ready to make a difference.
The students elected a full slate of officers and drafted a constitution for the association.
Next on the agenda: establishing connections, such as with Friends of the Orphans, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of orphaned, abandoned, and disadvantaged children; and Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos, a network of orphanages in Latin América and the Caribbean.
“We plan to visit one of the orphanages in late 2007 or early 2008,” Humphrey said. “We can share our business knowledge in whatever ways are most helpful to the children and staff. We want to break the cycle of poverty and provide access to the opportunities we are all fortunate enough to have experienced.”
Principles reflect global connections.
As an epicenter of the Latin Américan and Caribbean diasporas, Florida International University provides an ideal location for promoting global social awareness through active engagement in international and local community service projects.
GROW’s efforts further promote the university as a place that welcomes diversity and encourages a sense of social responsibility.
“We feel it’s essential for students here to be conscious of the conditions in their countries of origin,” Humphrey said. “We also must understand more fully our rich cultural heritage and the need for mutual respect.”
Open to all present and former graduate students, GROW provides an unprecedented opportunity for students to get involved through volunteer community service and international projects.
“I am not aware of any other organizations chartered with the global scope of GROW or this kind of direct linkage with an MIB program. What our graduate students have started here may be unique.”
—Robert Hogner, associate professor, Department of Management and International Business, and GROW faculty advisor
“Other universities may have formalized service projects at the local level, but I am not aware of any other organizations chartered with the global scope of GROW or this kind of direct linkage with an MIB program,” said Robert Hogner, associate professor, Department of Management and International Business, coordinator of the college’s Civic Engagement Initiative and GROW’s faculty advisor. “What our graduate students have started here may be unique.”
“We are looking to make a difference and to build long-term relationships with communities that truly need our help,” Miranda said. “Compassion. Unity. Teamwork. Responsibility. These should comprise an indispensable part of any college education today. . . . and they happen to be the core principles at the foundation of GROW.”