By Ritika Kumbharkar
Colin Applegate is from the “Windy City.” He majored in International Business with minors in Spanish and Global Social Entrepreneurship while playing for the Northeastern Rugby Team. His three co-ops were as an administrative assistant for Pine Street Inn/iCater in Boston, intern for sustainable development for the Hispanic American Health Connection in Madrid, and operations assistant for InnerCity Weightlifting.
When Colin came to Northeastern University, he says that he learned about social entrepreneurship by chance. He was conversing with his teammates when they told him to try Professor Shaughnessy’s global social enterprise class. After taking that class, he was “hooked” on the idea of using business as a medium of social change and ended up taking almost all social entrepreneurship courses offered.
Currently, Colin is back home working in a Chicago bar to make money before he leaves for the Peace Corps. His last social entrepreneurship job was at InnerCity Weightlifting in Boston. He worked there for 6 months beginning January 2016. InnerCity Weightlifting is a non-profit gym that works to reduce urban street violence by connecting gang-involved youth with meaningful career opportunities in the personal fitness sector. He was the operations assistant where he did tasks such as filing, tracking donations, and tutoring the students. His favorite part of the job was his social interactions with the students. He said, “we came from extremely different backgrounds, but we were able to create friendships while playing video games or working out.”
In February, Colin will be joining the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic to work as a community economic and agribusiness advisor. He chose the Peace Corps to be his entry into the international development sector. In the short term, his initial goals in the Peace Corps are to build relationships with the community members of the village. He says he will not be successful in his position, “without positive relationships with the community members.” In the long term, his goal is to increase the wealth and well-being of the community through income-generating and knowledge-gaining projects. He originally wanted to work for an NGO but could not due to lack of experience. He hopes that after his Peace Corps endeavor, he is able to work for NGOs in the near future. He will be spending two years in Dominican Republic and SEI wishes him the very best.