Recent graduate receives IDEX Fellowship to work in India
June 2, 2011 By Cindy Long
Brittany Coppola of Louisville got some exciting news right before she graduated from Centre on May 22: she was one of only 35 students from around the country to be awarded an IDEX Fellowship in Social Enterprise and will spend nine months working in Hyderabad, India.
IDEX stands for IDeate, EXecute and Solve, and is administered by Oglethorpe University with partner Gray Matters Capital. Fellows receive training in social enterprise, a fairly new concept in the business world, and use what they learn to better India’s Affordable Private Schools.
“I’m really excited about this experience because it will involve living and working abroad with a purpose,” Coppola says. “I love travel and was eager to go abroad again post-graduation. I got an email from career services about the program, and after reading through what it entailed, it sparked my interest and I decided that I wanted to apply.”
“It was a little daunting because so many people applied,” Coppola continues. “There were over 300 applicants and it got whittled down to 35 of us. We're from all over the country, which is really neat.”
Fellows work at the business-end of the system to implement programs that can change and develop schools that primarily serve underprivileged youth in India. They have the opportunity to create change through social enterprise, while developing their own professional skills.
The mission of the IDEX program is “To create a new generation of leaders committed to addressing the structural inequities which exist within and across all societies, and to provide human capital to advance the work of social enterprises, with high measurable social impact.”
“I think it's going to be a really enriching experience,” Coppola says. “Right now I am thinking that I want to go into development work, and I definitely want to go back to graduate school, but I just don't really know what my purpose is within development work. My hope is that time 'in-field' in a developing country will allow me to put my international studies background to use and give me more direction with where I want to direct my future life's endeavors.”
IDEX Fellows are in the field every day, learning and contributing to issues in a developing country. IDEX provides resources, training and support to the fellows in order for them to employ innovative social enterprise solutions and maximize their effectiveness in the field.