December 12, 2016

Student Spotlight: Patrick Drown

Student Spotlight: Patrick Drown

During my time as a student in Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service, I have explored opportunities to learn more about India. This started after participating in the GU Impacts program through the Beeck Center that brought me to the NGO Dream A Dream in Bangalore, India, which conducts English and computer skills classes, as well as leadership workshops, for urban youth.

During my time in Bangalore, I made promotional videos for Dream A Dream which highlighted the transformative experiences of participants in their programs. Dream A Dream focuses on not only improving the English speaking ability and computer competency skills of youth, but it emphasizes developing their self-confidence as well, which differentiates Dream A Dream from many other education NGOs in India. Through working at Dream A Dream, I began to understand some of the challenges that Indian cities face in providing quality education for Indian youth. My time in Bangalore sparked a long-term interest in understanding how India works to provide services to a growing population with scarce resources. On a lighter note, everything that I learned about India also prompted me to become involved in Rangila at Georgetown, a large annual South Asian dance performance on campus.

These experiences and interests have led me to enroll in the India Innovation Studio this semester, which explores the social, political, economic, and environmental aspects of the drought in Maharashtra, India. Each week we learn more about the political system of Maharashtra and India in general, and we also explore the science behind water use in agricultural production.

The most exciting aspect of the class is the design studio component, which challenges us to think about the Indian drought in the context of design solutions. This process has required us to map out previously-implemented water projects and come up with Geographic Information Systems maps that represent the particular aspect of the drought that our group from the class is working on. This class has pushed me to think about complex development problems in a more holistic way and be more open-minded about the breadth of possible solutions to ameliorate development challenges. While my plans after graduation are uncertain, the classes and programs at Georgetown that have enabled me to learn more about India have strengthened my commitment to working in development in South Asia.

Patrick Drown (SFS'17) is a senior in Georgetown's School of Foreign Service, majoring in culture and politics.