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Understand the World by Engaging It

josh swarz

Photo by Lisa Helfert.

Joshua Swarz '08

President, South African Orphan Project

Major: Political Science

What I love most about what I do: I love that my organization makes a difference in the world—we help 52 children obtain basic human needs: water, food, shelter.

How Dickinson prepared me for what I do: During college, I studied abroad, and after college I interned abroad. I got a master’s degree in international commerce and policy, which led me to this orphanage. If it weren’t for Dickinson encouraging me to engage the world, I don’t think I would be where I am today.

My favorite professor: Doug Edlin. He was my advisor and role model.

The accomplishment I’m most proud of today: Starting and building a nonprofit from the ground up.

The most challenging part of my work: The South African Orphan Project does not turn a profit. All donations go directly to the orphanage. So the most challenging part of my job is to make time for this—keeping my organization relevant and current. It is so easy to get caught up in the million other things I’m doing.

What “engage the world” means to me: It means being an informed citizen and a contributor to society. Whether your society is local, national or international—performing public service and giving back are things everyone should do.

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Published March 10, 2015