This summer, McGill University student Anoosha Lalani joined the Jeanne Sauvé Foundation for a ten-week internship, bringing with her a wealth of skills and knowledge tied to her studies in management and her experience as an author. Anoosha became an important member of the Jeanne Sauvé Foundation team and we want to thank her for her incredibly valuable work.

Anoosha is a second year student majoring in accounting with a concentration in entrepreneurship. Having lived in Pakistan, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, and Poland, she has acquired a unique global perspective. She is the author of The Keepersa fictional novel depicting a Pakistani protagonistAnoosha has been involved with several non-profit organizations over the years, such as Ink Movement, empowering youth to engage in creative expression, and P[h]assion, promoting HIV/AIDS awareness.

Here she reflects on her internship at the Jeanne Sauvé Foundation, which was made possible by McGill University’s innovative SEI Impact Internship Program.

I initially got involved with McGill University’s Social Economy Initiative (SEI), applying to its Impact Internship Program, because I wanted to spend my summer doing something positive in a world rife with socio economic adversities. I was fortunate enough to be paired with the Jeanne Sauvé Foundation; an organization that cultivates an environment where you truly start to believe that you can create ripples of change in a sea of global issues. Its mission is to “connect, engage and empower a new generation of public leadership in Canada and around the world to address key global challenges.”

Throughout my internship, I learned how different factors affect the nurturing of the Foundation’s three interconnected pillars: the Public Leadership Program, the Fellows’ Network and public Forum events, each of which culminate into the organization’s multidisciplinary vision for social impact. By bringing passionate, like-minded yet undeniably diverse young people from across the globe together, the Foundation sets the groundwork for positive change spearheaded by youth for generations to come. One of the projects I undertook to reflect the global and diverse network of Fellows was the creation of a heat map displaying Fellows’ individual profiles and current place of residence. It was intriguing to see how a year at Sauvé House influenced their professional careers and ability to effectively funnel their passion into the organizations with which they were associated.

On a microcosmic level, my daily interactions with the team and 2015-17 Public Leadership Fellows were not only inspiring, but also allowed me to learn more about the non-profit sector and get involved in various initiatives from helping to organize public events to volunteering at the Foundation’s very own multicultural pop-up restaurant. These events had one significant thing in common that I won’t easily forget: they created a space for dialogue that celebrated diversity and connected people on a basic level of human compassion.

It was over conversations with staff members that I later learned about the realities of managing small, civil society organizations as well as their potential for growth. As part of my mandate as a SEI Impact Intern, I will be developing a case study that will serve as a learning tool for social entrepreneurs, innovators, and McGill University students. The topic that I have chosen to address is institutional memory and specifically, the measures that the Jeanne Sauvé Foundation has taken to ensure institutional knowledge is preserved for the benefit of social impact.

Finally, I would like to offer my utmost gratitude to the team at the Jeanne Sauvé Foundation— Valérie, Ariane, Ion, and Simone— who truly made my ten weeks here as memorable and as positive as they could be. They and the Fellows inspired me to continue to make positive contributions to the communities around me. I would also like to thank the Social Economy Initiative at McGill University for making this internship possible and for pairing me with a socially minded organization where I truly felt like I belonged.

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