Social Impact Internships: Jade Hawkesworth (’25)
My name is Jade Hawkesworth, and this IAP term I worked with the Majira Project and an Equitable Entrepreneurship Intern. During my internship, I focused on the social media branding and content creation for the Majira Project. The organization works to close the racial wealth gap through supporting minority owned businesses. Majira means “summer” in Swahili and represents the growing season. They model their program off of this idea, believing that similar to how a plant needs sunlight, water, and soil to grow, a business needs capital, consulting, connections, and coaching. While I was unable to work directly with some of the organizations, I was able to speak to the founder, Kerry Bowie. I really enjoyed speaking with Kerry because of his vast background and experiences. He has held many jobs in the environment, government, and now the entrepreneurial and consulting sector. Kerry likes to say he speaks many languages and sees himself as a liaison between many different communities and groups of people. This was the most inspiring part of Kerry. I enjoyed his interest in working across disciplines, and you could see that he believed the connections and bonds between people were the most important towards success. Additionally, interacting with Kerry, I was able to see his vision behind the Majira Project. Through his consulting work, he saw a lack of diversity and realized the power he had to change this. I am inspired by Kerry because of his proactive and multi-pronged approach towards entrepreneurship. Additionally, working on the social media and content organization aspect of Majira with my supervisor Kimberly, I was able to see the importance that branding and publicity had on an organization. In order to ensure continued funding, engagement, and success of their business, Kimberly and Esme work incredibly hard. This experience has greatly changed my perspective on the need for many different perspectives in a single business. I was able to see the financial, organizational, outreach, and more in action, showing all the different moving parts that helped to create a functioning and successful business. Similarly, the support that the Majira Project gives to the companies in their programs is equally as impressive, as I am able to see how they grew and expanded during their time with the Majira project. Most importantly, I believe that my experience with the Majira Project helped me define my goals and academic interests. Previously, I was struggling to decide what I wanted to study at MIT as I felt constricted to the straightforward physician or lawyer route. It seemed impossible for me to combine my interests with science, law, and the arts. Coming to a tech school like MIT, I found it even more challenging to explore my more creative side. However, through the Majira Project, it became clear that entrepreneurship requires all sides and perspectives. Like my mentor Kerry, I feel as if studying two seemingly unrelated or distant topics could make me valuable when it comes to the connection and discussion between multiple disciplines. Looking at law and human behavior, I hope to follow in the footsteps of the Majira Project and work to understand the racial divides in the country. Connection, as Kerry taught me, is crucial to the advancement and success of not only companies, but community growth. I hope to center my interests towards community growth and education as well, ideas inspired by the Majira Project.