Newswise — Camarillo, Calif., April 7, 2017 — Discovering your core values, connecting with others, then channeling those values into a social business or personal cause will be at the heart of the inaugural My Name My Story California Institute for Social Business Social Entrepreneurship Summer Camp.
Ventura County high school students interested in learning more about social business are invited to sign up for the camp, which is a team effort between the California Institute for Social Business at CSU Channel Islands (CSUCI) and West Hills-based social enterprise called “My Name My Story” (MNMS).
The camp can accommodate about 30 students and will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from July 31 to Aug. 4.
“While they’re here they’re going to have all kinds of workshops from leading social entrepreneurs,” said California Institute for Social Business Director Andrea Grove, Ph.D. “They will also hear from young social entrepreneurs who have started their own businesses.”
The CISB is partnering with MNMS, which has held similar camps at UCLA in the past.
A social business is defined as a for-profit enterprise that also addresses a social need. The chief executive officer of MNMS is Amit Dodani, 19, of West Hills, who turned shame into triumph.
From when he was a child, Dodani struggled with a speech impediment. When he had to speak to a crowd when he was a fifth grader, “I started jittering, and shaking, and then of course you could see some tears running down my eyes,” he said.
Dodani did not give up. He kept challenging himself to speak in public and even landed a spot on his high school debate team. The awards began to multiply and eventually, his debate team placed fifth in the nation and Dodani received several awards as a top speaker.
“All the frustration, all the tears, all the jokes that used to happen, they all were part of the journey,” Dodani said.
To share his story and help others, Dodani founded “My Name My Story,” which is designed to help teens learn about themselves and others, and to develop empathy for those different than themselves.
“Empathy is the ability to understand what another person is feeling from their perspective,” Grove said. “To me, creating solutions to social problems, which is the goal of social business, requires us to understand how people experience those problems, to go beyond the academic or technical causes of those problems.”
The week will be filled with activities, workshops and inspirational talks from other young entrepreneurs who have either started or are a part of a social business, such as “My Name My Story” national spokesperson Joshua Breard, 18, a former classmate of Dodani’s who turned years of bullying into a passion to help others who feel different.
“I was bullied for 10 years and depressed for six years,” Breard said. “My best worst day was a day I was late to class. I walked in and somebody else was in my desk. An empty desk was on the other side of the room, so it was like a walk of shame. There was laughing. I usually ate lunch by myself.”
One night when Breard was feeling exceptionally low, he entered his bedroom and a message popped up on his computer:
“Want to play Minecraft?”
“I spent the night laughing and playing and when we were done, they said: ‘We’ll see you tomorrow night, right?’”
Grove plans to integrate information about social business with the My Name My Story activities for a week of self-discovery and inspiration.
Cost for the week, which includes tuition, meals and a banquet on the last day, is $1,295, but 10 California Institute for Social Business Scholarships are available. The cost with the scholarship is $695.
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About California State University Channel Islands
CSU Channel Islands (CI) is the only four-year, public university in Ventura County and is known for its interdisciplinary, multicultural and international perspectives, and its emphasis on experiential and service learning. CI’s strong academic programs focus on business, sciences, liberal studies, teaching credentials, and innovative master’s degrees. Students benefit from individual attention, up-to-date technology, and classroom instruction augmented by outstanding faculty research. CI has been designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is committed to serving students of all backgrounds from the region and beyond. Connect with and learn more by visiting CI's Social Media.