When I was little, James Bond impressed me. Secret agents just seemed glamorous. I have since outgrown my fascination with 007, but the idea of being an agent still excites me. Not a secret agent, but an agent of change.
I graduated from Seaver College in spring 2009 with a degree in international studies, and began working as an admission counselor at the end of summer 2009. As a Seaver student, I participated in the Social Action and Justice Colloquium which initially inspired my interest in social change.
After graduation, I searched for opportunities to further explore these social issues in an educational setting. I believe it was fate that my colleague informed me of the new master of arts in social entrepreneurship and change (SEC) program launching at GSEP just a week before the application was due. I got it in just in time, and have already learned so much.
For example, I have gained insight into how the character and beliefs of a leader can shape an organization, which, in turn, can significantly impact the communities the organization is serving—for better or for worse. I have also been inspired by other members of my cohort. Although our passions and areas of interest may differ, it is comforting and encouraging to know that there are at least 20 other people in the world who have dedicated their lives to serving our global community.
I strongly believe that knowledge is a powerful tool that can be used to fight poverty, abuse, hatred, and other injustices that plague so many nations. My personal mission is to apply my degree to leading efforts that increase access to education for underserved groups around the world.
I enrolled in SEC to familiarize myself with the intricacies of social justice issues that I need to know in order to be an effective advocate for change. In little more than a year, my toolbox will contain not only my passion and drive, but vision, strategy, experience, business proficiency, and most of all relationships. Mentors to guide me, and peers to support me. And then I will lead change.
Sarah Carter is a student in the master of arts in social entrepreneurship and change program and admission counselor in the Pepperdine University Seaver College Office of Admission.