Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Catching up: Alumni Reunion

I apologize for the blogging hiatus the last several weeks in Chile. We were all busy with finishing our projects. However, now that I’m home, I have a little time to wrap up some loose ends.

Alumni Party
One of the highlights during our last two weeks was the Alumni Party. Liz and Rachel’s primary project was to strengthen alumni connections and host a second annual alumni gathering in Puente Alto. The party was held on Thursday, July 3rd at 6 pm. Turnout was in the neighborhood of 50 people, which included micro entrepreneurs, interns, and AE staff. There was food, decorations, mingling, speakers, and a 20-minute video produced by Liz and Rachel.

The beginning of the party was plagued by technology difficulties. The 20-minute video was on Rachel’s Mac, but no one had the proper cords to connect her video to the projector. Puente Alto director, Daniel, didn’t want to show the video if it could only be displayed on the laptap. His concern showed AE’s emphasis on quality and high standards. Fortunately, with the help of Karna, they were able to burn the video to a DVD in time to show by the end of the reunion.

A provincial governor attended the reunion and was the keynote speaker. He talked about the importance of staying in contact with AE as an alumnus, since AE could still provide support and future micro entrepreneurs could benefit from insights of more experienced micro entrepreneurs.

At the end, the girls played their video. Liz and Rachel created the video by asking a few additional questions to the micro entrepreneurs that were interviewed for Elana and Karna’s project. In the video, micro entrepreneurs stated their name, business, and gave one consejo (advice) to current AE students. The micro entrepreneurs loved seeing themselves in the video, with some crying. The video will now serve as an additional motivational video for AE by showing incoming micro entrepreneurs the benefits of the program.

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