In July, Wesleyan’s Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship announced that it would award two tickets to the Social Capital Markets conference (SOCAP) to young alumni with an interest in how money can be leveraged to create social change. It was no surprise that those who applied were talented, motivated social changemakers working in a variety of impact fields including education, international healthcare, food justice, tech for good, gender equality, and more. We are pleased to introduce you to our winners, Rachel Lindsay ’05 and Raghu Appasani ’12.
Rachel Lindsay ’05, Communications and Sustainability Director, Social Business Network
Rachel Wyatt Lindsay lives in León, Nicaragua, where she works as a consultant on community agriculture, fair trade and food security projects through the Social Business Network, and as an interpreter and translator (Spanish to English). She came to Nicaragua in 2009 with a Fulbright grant to study innovative ways to join financing and technical assistance to farmers in order to promote more successful sustainable agriculture. At the end of her Fulbright, Rachel founded the position of Sustainable Development Coordinator for SosteNica, a Community Development and Micro Finance organization based in West Chester, PA, where she now serves on the Board of Directors.
Rachel’s work in Nicaragua grew out of her experience on organic farms in Western Massachusetts (Next Barn Over Farm, Food Bank Farm, and Mountainview Farm) and her desire to take aspects of that thriving organic farming community to a developing country where technical and financial support for small farmers is scarce.
At Wesleyan, Rachel majored in Cultural Anthropology and co-founded Long Lane Farm, a one-acre organic educational farming project that continues to be a successful student-run farm today. She says “I learned to love growing food while helping in my grandfather’s garden as a child, and became interested in working with food justice and environmental sustainability while at college.”
Follow Rachel’s blog at http://sustainablenicafarming.wordpress.com/.
Raghu Appasani ’12, Founder and CEO, MINDS Foundation
The MINDS Foundation is a nonprofit organization that provides grassroots mental health education programs, medical treatment, and reintegration services in rural India. While he was an undergraduate at Wesleyan majoring in Neuroscience & Behavior and Science in Society, Raghu Appasani founded MINDS “with a passion to bring the human right of proper mental health resources back into the hands of those in the most vulnerable regions of the world.”
Under Raghu’s leadership, MINDS has grown from a small student collaboration run out of a dorm room to a successful international social enterprise with a US office in the Next Mile Project incubator. Recent grants such as those from Newman’s Own Foundation and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are fueling MINDS’s ability to scale up, serve more patients, and work towards systemic change in mental health care. Three years after its founding, MINDS is still a close partner with Wesleyan, involving students at every level of the organization and offering opportunities for undergraduates to learn first-hand about social entrepreneurship.
In his SOCAP application, Raghu wrote “my interest and passion is in mixing together medicine and social investing/venture capital to develop cost-effective healthcare delivery systems in emerging markets.” SOCAP13 will expand Raghu’s network and support the growth of The MINDS Foundation.
Follow the work of MINDS at http://www.mindsfoundation.org/narratives/.