Unlocking the Hero Within
Thursday, Jun. 6, 2013
Masked vigilantes. Caped crusaders. Costumed crime fighters.
Every summer, millions of moviegoers flock to crowded multiplexes across the globe to see the latest hero don a really cool costume and venture out into the night to save the world. The notion of heroes has always been linked to individuals who possess superhuman abilities and use their powers to protect humanity against supervillains and evil enterprises. After being thoroughly entertained for a couple of hours, the story ends and we exit the world of “make believe” into the harsh realities of the real world. However, in our 21st century world, danger still exists.
You don’t have to be a character in a Hollywood script to save the world. Take a look at Amanda North, who recently reunited with a Boston bombing survivor, Erika Brannock as shown on AC360. I’m sure Amanda would never call herself “a hero,” but her actions in Boston, as well her role within the Jesuit University in Silicon Valley tell the whole story.
Amanda’s passion for social justice and creating a more just and humane world, is why she decided to join the GSBI™ as a mentor – a critically acclaimed social entrepreneurship accelerator program at Santa Clara University’s Center for Science, Technology, and Society. In a recent conversation at the Center, Amanda shared about how much she loves growing things and getting to the heart of why things matter. She enjoys working with social entrepreneurs because they build products and services that have an immediate impact on the lives of people who need them most. Very humble and non-intimidating, Amanda has a natural essence that engages people in a way that they feel they are a part of a greater human story. Just ask Erika Brannock, who says Amanda saved her life. In response, Amanda modestly says, “I felt like there was a reason why I was there. I just felt this compulsion to go over to you…”
It is this same compulsion to act and do something that drives Amanda in her hands-on work with the Center. The Center follows a simple strategy in its mission to benefit the lives of 1 billion of the world’s poor by 2020: Help social entrepreneurs help more people. It’s simple, but powerful in scope and vision. The vision works because it constantly seeks out entrepreneurs who are inspired to dream big, to build something of great value, and who are motivated to get the training and discipline necessary to impact the greater good.
We are proud of Amanda North, and mentors like her who work closely with entrepreneurs that venture out into sweltering hot days and feverishly cold nights tackling everyday problems that face people living in persistent poverty. GSBI Mentors are more than teachers and guides; they are heroes who encourage us to rise to the challenge and do something.