NECC Grows Its Connection with India
Two Northern Essex Community College staff members—Dina Brown, director, student engagement center & new student orientation, and Cheryl Goodwin, senior executive assistant to the president— recently had the experience of a lifetime when they travelled to northwest Karnataka in India.
The delegation they travelled with included colleagues from UMass Lowell and Middlesex Community College; local community leaders from Groundworks Lawrence, the Merrimack Valley YMCA, and CLASS; and representatives from Canadian colleges and universities.
The goal of the trip was to develop faculty/student exchanges with institutions in India that are part of the Hubli Sandbox, a partnership between not-for-profits, academics, organizations, and entrepreneurs leading to the launch of effective and scalable models of development.
Northern Essex is part of the Merrimack Valley Sandbox (MVS) which was created In December of 2010 at UMass Lowell. The MVS Initiative aims to expand and strengthen the local ecosystem that supports innovative leaders and entrepreneurs in Lowell and Lawrence, MA, accelerating economic activity and enhancing the quality of life.
Both Sandbox initiatives are funded by the Deshpande Foundation, a global philanthropic effort started by Gururaj (Desh) and Jaishree Deshpande.
While in India, Brown and Goodwin visited non-governmental organizations, including a meal program feeding over 180,000 children per a day; a science foundation, and a foundation for the blind. They also attended the 2013 Deshpande Development Dialogue, a conference attended by hundreds of individuals from around the world.
One of the highlights of the trip, according to Brown, was visiting the Kalkeri Sangeet Vidyali School, a residential school which provides arts education to disadvantaged children from rural or slum areas. “It was inspiring to see how much these young kids loved their school,” said Brown.
To learn more about the Deshpande Foundation and the Sandbox initiative, visit the website.