Mar 25, 2014 KV Kiva HQ
By Amrita Khoshoo
New Jersey Club Gets Crafty for Microfinance
The Kiva community is filled with changemakers with inspiring stories to tell. We were able to catch up with one such enthusiastic and accomplished young student, who has put her passion for microfinance into practice through the club she leads at her school in Teterboro, New Jersey. 
 
Sam, currently a senior at Bergen Tech High School, was an attendee at the Kiva U Summit this past fall in San Francisco. Like many, she left energized to find creative way to use microfinance to help others around the world, and is already walking the talk.
 
Sam is the president of Action is Magnanimous (AIM), a club dedicated to social initiatives. Originally started in 2010 by Sam’s classmate, Morgan, AIM was created with a mission to raise funds to lend to Kiva borrowers by selling handmade items.

A small sampling of the great products the AIM club makes and sells.

 
AIM members have sold hand-sewn circle scarves and handmade crafts & accessories to their fellow classmates and broader community. Examples of their products include: feather earrings, beaded necklaces made from recyclable materials, and flower pens. 
 
AIM club recently raised $150 by holding a campus bake sale.


Sam’s interest in global development was sparked after reading Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel. That interest grew into a passion after taking a social studies class discussing globalization and the growing divide between developed and developing nations. 
 
Besides her involvement with AIM, Sam is an tremendous Kiva U community leader and has reached out to nearby elementary schools to teach sixth graders about microfinance. 
 
“Kiva allows people to change their ‘destiny’ and to be able to succeed in whatever means they want to,” Sam said. “Also, I think that sustainability is a valuable lesson and I stand with Kiva and its mission to empower those who want to succeed.” 
 
Thanks to attending the Kiva U Summit, Sam feels empowered by educators and fellow students interested in social entrepreneurship and international development. She’s used this motivation to begin planning a Global Awareness Symposium in Teterboro that plans to explore microfinance education, poverty alleviation, social entrepreneurship and the unequal effects of globalization with her classmates and community. 
 
Sam is a wonderful example of young leaders nationwide who have the energy, passion, and creativity to address the world’s critical problems. We can’t wait to catch up with more inspirational students and educators!
 
Are you working on any projects to engage your community around microfinance or alleviating poverty? Let us know!

Comments

Sam Kirsch has continued to evolve the AIM club's impact on our school and larger community since its inception a few years ago and has raised awareness about the importance of KIVA as an effective tool for economic empowerment and social justice. She has organized a global symposium at our school and we here at Bergen Tech are proud of her dedication to this endeavor.

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Amrita recently graduated from UC Irvine as a double major in History and Global Cultures. Throughout college, she was incredibly lucky to have volunteered, interned, and studied abroad. She volunteered and interned in India and China over the course of three summers and studied abroad in Spain her junior year. Amrita loves learning about the world, and learning how to help the world is no exception. She is thrilled to be joining an organization that uses innovative and sustainable methods to empower individuals and communities worldwide.

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