the year of two thousand sixteen

spring
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overlooking a quarry in Massachusetts
  • Participated in the LeaderShape Institute, a week-long leadership development and community building retreat that changed my entire outlook on what Boston College could be for me
  • Interned for Date My Wardrobe, which not only taught me about social media marketing and working in a startup, but also introduced me to an amazing mentor, the startup’s founder Amrita Aviyente
  • Explored Rockport, Gloucester, Newport, and Boston with my mom over Easter Break
  • Took two trips to New York, one with a friend to watch Matilda on Broadway and stuff our faces in Chelsea Market, another with my brother and cousins on my birthday to watch Book of Mormon and once again stuff our faces
  • Despite loving General Chemistry, I finally decided to listen to my gut and set science aside in pursuit of an International Studies major with Ethics and International Social Justice track
summer
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sunset in Penang
  • Interned for bonJOY, an ethical subscription box company that features fashion, beauty, and lifestyle goods by companies that support survivors of human trafficking and empower women globally
  • Started a personal website to keep track of my thoughts, readings, and interests (i.e. this)
  • Visited Malaysia for five weeks to spend time with family, with highlights being visiting Bali, eating food in Penang, and attending a Watercolor Brush Calligraphy workshop
fall
cows
picturesque cows in Vermont
  • Balanced being a Resident Assistant to 27 freshmen women, being The Gavel News Editor with four articles a week, and being employed as LeaderShape On-Site Coordinator
  • Was introduced to and impassioned by the Economy for the Common Good, the notion that all economic activity should fundamentally serve the common good of humanity, society, and the environment
  • Became further immersed in the ethical fashion movement through personal interest colliding with a case study for my Social Movements class—committed to only buying thrifted or ethically-made clothing
  • Saw fall foliage and ate maple creemees in Vermont for the first time with my mom and Godmother
  • Learned tons about Internet History, Social Networking Theory, and Social Media Activism in Online Communication and Global Society, even had Gregg Housh (one of the founders of Anonymous) as a guest speaker
  • Was a sophomore leader for 48HOURS, a freshman-only retreat, and did a polar plunge in Cape Cod
  • Dyed my hair purple

Most importantly, 2016 was the year of developing new connections and deepening existing friendships. I am left with overwhelming gratitude for all the people who have entered my life in the past twelve months, and I can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store for us all.

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fair trade. really?

fairtrade

All throughout cafes, supermarkets, and even clothing stores, “Fair Trade” seems to be a catch-all term for: this product is ethically made. But what if that wasn’t the case?

This summer, I have had the privilege of interning for bonJOY, a subscription box startup that features fashion, beauty, and lifestyle goods that support survivors of human trafficking and empower women globally.

Part of my internship was to research topics within the realm of ethical shopping and human trafficking that particularly interested me. One of the questions I sought to answer aimed at discerning the true meaning and impact of Fair Trade, in the context of Fair Trade certification.

bonJOY recently posted my findings on their blog in this article I wrote. Essentially, what I found was that the Fair Trade label isn’t enough. Not only does it not guarantee that all workers along the supply chain of that product are fairly reimbursed (migrant laborers are particularly at risk), but also Fairtrade International is not the most transparent organization out there.

As consumers, we must be vigilant in discerning what is truly good from the marketing buzzwords and labels that make us feel like we are doing our part.

As a side note, I also loved that I could utilize my new watercolor calligraphy skills to make the graphic for the article!

 

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