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Michael Wilson

Michael dreams of using technology and innovation to solve social challenges. An aspiring entrepreneur, Michael holds a strong belief in the power of social business and intelligent systems to effect significant social change. After witnessing stark social and economic divisions between his hometown and Appalachia, Michael dedicated his high school years to building bridges and fostering respectful communication across diverse communities. As an Elder in his Presbyterian Church, Michael made his mark by advocating for social justice in his community. Michael’s recent first international experience in Trinidad solidified his desire to learn firsthand from effective, community-based social entrepreneurs.

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Appropriate Transportation

March 23, 2010

How people move around is one of the most vital pieces of information that defines a community. I hadn’t thought about this before until I traveled through Arizona on a publicity excursion for an eye glasses campaign we will hold there on Saturday. Arizona is a small town in the Municipal of Puerto San Jose,...

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Weaving Co-Ops in Rural Guatemala

February 24, 2010

One of the most interesting aspects of my GCY experience is the opportunity to periodically shadow Yoli and Clara.  These resourceful Guatemalan women are two of the owners of SOLCOM, the small Guatemalan-owned social enterprise that turns a mild profit by delivering healthcare products to rural communities. Recently, Yoli, Clara and I were scheduled to...

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Transportes Rodriguez

January 25, 2010

Have you ever thought about where your water comes from and how many people are involved in bringing it to your faucet? Recently, out of curiosity, I headed off with Don Omar in his water truck. Don Omar is a pretty successful businessman in Santo Tomas; he owns a small farm and also owns a...

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Chuchos

October 15, 2009

I had a pretty exciting encounter with a chucho today. A chucho is a wild dog. So as I was panicking that I couldn’t find my phone, I walked down the street to Zuleika’s house (one of the other fellows who happens to be staying with my host mother’s sister, or something like that). I...

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What the heck are you doing you crazy fool

October 13, 2009

Today we commuted entirely alone for the first time ever. Just the five fellows living in Santo Tomas Milpas Altas. The world didn’t seem to like that idea. Today Zuleika and I left the house twenty minutes late, knocked on Ian’s door to make sure he had left, and got to the bus stop at...

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The chicken bus has changed my life.

October 11, 2009

The chicken bus has changed my life. As you read this post, please keep in mind that on my commute home yesterday, I was carrying a bag of 12 eggs in my right hand. 3 of which were already broken. The “camionetas”, as they are affectionately called by Guatemalans, are a great way to start...

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Pasteles y trajes de baño

October 3, 2009

This morning I awoke gradually in utter darkness because there is no outside window in my hotel room. I woke thinking there was a frequently traversed railroad track behind the hotel, when in reality it was just cars on the cobblestone streets outside the hotel. Thus began a day of exciting exploration. We first went to...

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Oooh Baby baby it’s a wild world.

October 2, 2009

Oooh baby baby it’s a wild world. This famous Cat Stephens song, Wild World, unofficially became the GCY founding class theme song the other day after Marguerite requested it a million times over on every van ride. I don’t think any of us have been able to get it out of our heads yet. Seriously...

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Dear family,

September 21, 2009

Dear Mom, Dad, Matt, and family, These last few days, weeks, and months of my time at home have really brought out the depth of our familial bonds and have served to emphasize the significance the last eighteen years has had on my life. The frantic packing escapade managed to distract me from some of...

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Smile in Every Picture

August 10, 2009

This expression “smile in every picture because that may be the only one people see” is one that came  to mind a few weeks ago as I was sitting in the staff room of a YMCA residential camp, a small room with two computers with Windows 95, three dilapidated couches, and an old television that...

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