Political science major Shea Parikh ’16 enjoyed some sand-boarding in Abu Dhabi during the last days of his 2013 Davidson in India study abroad experience, but the program provided much more than fun and games.
Through the program, Parikh studied at colleges in India, Sri Lanka, Oman and the United Arab Emirates. That summer, Parikh interned at the Amani Institute in Nairobi, Kenya, an enterprise that aims to prepare the next generation of social entrepreneurs. The experiences stoked Parikh’s passion for entrepreneurship and social change. In fact, Parikh founded the Earth’s Kids Foundation, a social venture with a mission to help local self-help groups around the world expand their businesses by facilitating access to the global market.
The foundation directs 100 percent of the profits made from those investments toward the education of children who have escaped trafficking networks. The organization currently is working with two self-help groups in India and Kenya, both of whom specialize in creating hand-stitched bags (currently sold at Davidson), and has partnered with a school in Goa, India. Parikh spent the spring 2015 semester studying abroad in Shanghai, China, and will intern this summer at Queen City Forward in Charlotte, N.C., a venture hub for social entrepreneurs.