With a strong interest in social impact, Sagar Doshi '15, a Smith finance major, created his own major with the IVSP department, Social Innovation and Philanthropic Management. Sagar began his journey in social impact as part of Social Innovation Fellows, a year-long program that explores social and environmental change through business, created and sponsored by the Center for Social Value Creation (CSVC). In his sophomore year, Sagar took this interest to new heights. He traveled to Honduras with ambitions of ending extreme poverty and violence by building a school in an at-risk community. Together, Sagar Doshi and Anderson Sloan '15, also a Smith Terp and currently at IBM, continued this effort through entering the Do Good Challenge in 2014, where they won the first place award and secured $8,500 to put towards funding an entire school.
Now a Strategy and Operations Consultant at Deloitte, Sagar channels his passion for social impact into his job, spearheading education and sustainability projects at Deloitte. Outside of their daily jobs, Sagar and Anderson launched a new non-profit initiative in March 2017, One Thousand Schools. This organization, in partnership with Students Helping Honduras, brings young professionals together on a one-week service project to Honduras to build a school for a community in need. On their first pilot trip back in July 2017, thirteen young professionals traded in their cell phones and laptops for shovels and gloves, rolled their sleeves up, and got to work. They got their hands dirty with moving cinder blocks, making cement, and flatting out the classroom floor of dirt every day at the work site.
After returning from their trip, they worked tirelessly to fundraise for the school they started building, Escuela Marina Yolanda Melendez, and recently reached their goal of $25,000, which will fund the completion of construction. School is scheduled to start in late January 2018, and will house both day and evening classes in three classrooms for 135 kids. Sagar is looking forward to visiting the school when they go back for their second service trip in February 2018. Knowing that he's part of a greater undertaking to provide access to quality education, however much, propels his commitment of making a meaningful difference in the lives of those less fortunate.
What's so remarkable is that there were people from different walks of life and professions that went on this trip. Not having hot water for a week, consultants, teachers, and lab workers alike, labored day in day out. Sagar made a thought provoking comment about this project, that he hopes to avoid the stigma of #SaveTheWorld, but rather, going forward with the intention of learning about a world problem and doing the best you can to help towards a solution.
For Sagar, being a fearless Terp means taking on difficult endeavors with determination, but also learning from the drawbacks. When you have an idea, be receptive to feedback because there's always more to learn and gaps to fill. Sagar talks about how his education from Smith gave him the experience and skills sets to create a business plan, think through strategy, and plan out tangible steps that he needs to accomplish his goals. The courses that he took has enabled him to make better decisions and given him a different perspective that has been critical to the success of his ventures. And he's been 'paying it back.' Sagar has been a champion for the Deloitte mentor-partnership between Deloitte and CSVC's Change the World Program, and has even returned to UMD as a featured guest judge of the Do Good Challenge. Sagar is on a quest to do more and in search of social impact and sustainability projects that he is passionate about.
He hopes to inspire more people with shared passions to join him in building One Thousand Schools! The next service trip is February 17-24, 2018, and there are still spots available - click here to learn more and sign up. You can also reach out to Sagar directly via email.