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Student Spotlight: Ventures Directors | Nourish International

January 26, 2012 | Posted in Student Spotlight | By

This week, NINO would like to recognize two of our wonderful Ventures Directors:  Hetali Lodaya from UNC and Kayla Gogarty from UCLA.

Kayla Gogarty – UCLA

What passions drives you and your work with Nourish International?
My passion for Nourish and the social entrepreneurship movement is rooted in the fact that it works. It’s as simple as that. It is sustainable in every sense of the word, and there is no better feeling than knowing that every long hour of work you put in now, is building a strong foundation for future growth. Nourish makes it possible to connect with people and transform communities in a real and lasting way. Living in Guatemala this past summer to implement our project made me even more passionately dedicated to Nourish International because I saw our movement in action, and it really does work.

What is one of your favorite memories of working with Nourish?
Last year’s thrift sale! Working closely with each member of our team to put together a big, brand new event was an amazing feeling as Venture Director. I was so proud of our team’s organization and confidence! It was the first time we were able to engage hundreds of UCLA students into one venture, and every person who walked away from our event with recycled clothing and awareness of our project in Guatemala became part of the Nourish movement. The support we received from the national office and other Nourish Chapters was astounding, and it really inspired us to continue innovating new ideas as a chapter.

What career path are you interested in? How do you think Nourish will prepare you for that possible career?
I am currently applying to graduate schools to receive a master’s degree in Speech Pathology & Audiology. Eventually I will become a Speech & Language Therapist and work with children who have communicative disorders. In the future I hope to merge my intellectual interests with my passion for international development and bring comprehensive learning therapy centers to schools in developing countries. Nourish has shown me that leadership, resilience, creativity, and boundless energy are essential to creating lasting change in the world, and that is a lesson I will take with me in all of my future endeavors.

Hetali Lodaya – UNC

What passions drive you and your work with Nourish International?
Two passions drive my work with Nourish – the people and the model. Everyone at Nourish UNC is full of new ideas, enthusiasm, and a new perspective on the world. I have grown so much from knowing all of them thus far, and I love working with them each week! The model of Nourish – working through small communities instead of big top-down charities to drive change – is what initially attracted me to the organization. I think it is a step towards positive, powerful change, and I have really seen the potential that it has to succeed. With the combination of stellar people driving an impactful model, I think Nourish can have a huge voice in the conversation around sustainable development.

What is one of your favorite memories of working with Nourish?
Selling waffles in downtown Chapel Hill on a Friday night is a strange way to spend your time… but in Nourish, anything is possible. We ran the “Midnight Munch” Venture last fall and had a GREAT time talking to people walking up and down Franklin. I got to practice and perfect an elevator pitch that catered to a different audience than normal – and apparently it worked! When our waffle makers were struggling to keep up with demand, one couple walking by actually went back home and brought us their griddle to make pancakes with – they really appreciated what we were doing and were happy to support something innovative and impactful. What did YOU do last Friday night?

What career path are you interested in? How do you think Nourish will prepare you for that possible career?
I am interested in science policy, particularly the interaction between those developing the technologies for public health and safety – scientists, researchers, and engineers – and those with access to funding and responsibility for distribution – NGOs, businesspeople, governments, policy workers. I think that there is a HUGE communication gap that exists between these two groups – there’s not a lack of ideas in the world, only a struggle to implement them in the most effective ways. Nourish is a place where people of all academic backgrounds work together and really discuss the tough questions that need to guide both science research and policy analysis – I can practice those communication skills at every meeting!

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