Many factors led to Kevin taking a Social Innovation Practicum course at Duke, among them his interest in mechanical engineering and his experiences in Vietnam with ACE. This course, a part of his Certificate in Innovation & Entrepreneurship, allows Kevin to work with Durham non-profit, The Scrap Exchange, to identify and address organizational challenges and to maximize their social impact. He saw first-hand how social innovation could be applied in Vietnam, where people could not always depend on the tap for safe drinking water. Kevin hopes to someday work on improving efficiencies in systems like these to provide better access to clean water. “The idea of helping people is something that has remained in the forefront for me since ACE.”
“The idea of helping people is something that has remained in the forefront for me since ACE.”
Kevin also believes that participating in ACE improved his teamwork and leadership skills, which he has seen pay off in his coursework, which often involve group projects. In Vietnam, ACE participants taught and coached middle school youth alongside local Vietnamese college students. This experience was extremely impactful for Kevin and “gave [him] the maturity to be open to different mindsets” and work in a professional context. Kevin hopes that these skills he learned from ACE and his Innovation & Entrepreneurship classes will help him create change and engage people to solve problems in society.