Marriott Alumni Magazine

Ballard Center 2015-16 Annual Report

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Winner Takes Ideas to Peru Social Innovation Solutions Competition By Alex Burch Together with his teammates, Preston Alder walked up to Fairtrasa founder and CEO, Patrick Struebi, to accept the first-place prize in the 2016 Social Innovation Solution Competition (SISC)—a competition that brings students from all majors together to use their diverse skills to solve real problems for marquee social entrepreneurs. As Alder posed for a picture with a big check, he was surprised with something even bigger—an internship offer from the CEO himself. "Right after the award ceremony, Patrick invited me to come to Peru to implement the ideas my team had come up with," says Alder, a strategy senior. This year's SISC partner, Fairtrasa, is a global social enterprise that empowers marginalized farmers in developing countries to lift themselves out of poverty. It is currently one of the largest exporters of fair trade and organic fruit from Latin America. Although Fairtrasa has been teaming up with the Ballard Center for two years, it was Struebi's first time seeing the campus firsthand. "I came to Provo and I was quite impressed with the quality of the students, especially the way they presented," Struebi says. And it turns out, offering one of the students an internship was just as surprising to Struebi. "I actually wasn't planning on it," Struebi says. "It was not on the agenda and wasn't even on my radar. But having seen the students on campus for myself, I decided on the spot. I thought, 'Okay, let's do this.'" 16 Photo © Preston Alder

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