by MaryAlice Bitts-Jackson
Andrew DiNardo '16 decided early in life to help his community, just as others had helped his family during times of need. A Montgomery Service Leader and Project SHARE volunteer, Andrew marries that altruism with a keen business sense and entrepreneurial spirit, which he hones as an international business & management major and co-founder of a fledgling social-media company. Here, Andrew discusses his big-picture priorities, his assertion that we all have a story to tell and his experiences thus far, which include shadowing the president of the Pittsburgh Pirates, the realization of a lifelong dream.
International business & management.
Clubs and organizations:
Dickinson Christian Fellowship (leadership team), Montgomery Service Leaders, the D-Tones, Italian Club and men’s club soccer. I also assist with youth-ministry programs at New Life Community Church and at Second Presbyterian Church.
On choosing Dickinson:
Dickinson was high on my list from the beginning of my search, but I was unsure if it had everything I wanted. All I knew was that I wanted to immerse myself fully and make a difference. Choosing Dickinson ended up being possibly the best choice I could have made.
Favorite place on campus:
Memorial Hall in Old West. Most people only enter that room a couple times while at Dickinson. I get to spend at least an hour there every week. (It is the meeting place for Revive, Dickinson Christian Fellowship's largest group.)
On giving back:
Growing up, my family struggled a bit financially. People I had never met would come to our house every Thanksgiving and every Christmas with gifts. These gifts would range from turkeys for our family to toy trucks for my brother and me. Those selfless acts are what inspire me today. Through the Montgomery Service Leaders program here at Dickinson, I have the opportunity to work at Project SHARE, a food distributor in Carlisle that does work that I am very passionate about. I also am sponsoring a child, Bright, who lives in Ghana.
My biggest influence:
My father. He shows me every day that it’s not about the things you have or the recognition you receive but how you choose to make a difference with the life you are given.
As a kid, I wanted to be …
… a marine biologist. I was really interested in everything about aquatic life.
On choosing a major:
I am very interested in entrepreneurial business, and I currently co-own a small business initiative [social-media startup GabbleNote LLC] with some of my close friends back home in Pittsburgh. However, I chose international business & management for a different reason [than most people might expect]. Admittedly, I like money, and I sometimes dream of maintaining a company that joins the ranks of other Fortune 500 corporations. But when I think of business, I think of finding practical and effective ways to help those in need. I am very passionate about helping others.
Last summer I interned with First Presbyterian Church in Beaver, Pennsylvania. It helped me discover my passion for working with youth, something I plan to pursue after graduation. The only other intern-like experience I’ve had so far [arose from] my high-school senior project. I was given the opportunity to shadow Frank Coonelly, the president of the Pittsburgh Pirates, for a month.
Favorite Dining Hall food:
Grilled cheese, hands down.
Most important thing I’ve learned so far:
At this stage in our lives, we are so absorbed in what is directly in front of us (our phones, homework and schedules). We rarely stop and think about others and what is going on around us. I have learned to invest in other people and to learn what brought them to where they are now. Every human being has a valuable, fascinating story to tell. Sharing experiences not only allows you to learn more about another but also more about yourself.
No matter what I do or where I go, I want to make a difference.
Published January 12, 2015