A rising senior at the University of Virginia, Yashnica Mothersil is the newest member of ConceptLink’s team. We were inspired by Yashnica’s story and her motivation for working in the social good sector in Africa, so we wanted to share our conversation with her:
ConceptLink: Hi Yashnica. It’s nice to sit down with you and get the scoop on your internship with ConceptLink. Could you tell us about your background?
It’s nice to sit down with you too. I was born in America to Haitian immigrants. I’ve always had a strong pride and passion for my culture and its history, but I was always conflicted with the different ways Haiti was portrayed. Here in America, Haiti is too often seen in a negative light particularly due to bias in media that focuses on its poverty and corruption. However, in my Haitian household, I was only exposed to the beautiful side of Haiti – the rich Haitian culture, its rhythmic music, romantic Creole language, amazing spicy food, and my funny family members. That is how I have grown to have such pride in my heritage.
As I grew older, I developed a profound interest in learning more about my family’s country and how it has evolved to be what it is today. In the process, I became more interested in the beauty of Caribbean countries as a whole and how they are direct extensions of their homelands in Africa.
How did you get involved with social good in Africa?
I think Africa is beautiful. That’s where Haiti, Jamaica, Brazil, and any other place with a strong Afro-influence get their vibrant flavor. I love it, but it always frustrates me when the beauty of Africa is overshadowed by its poverty and instability.
On a more personal note, I had the good fortune to go to Morocco, Ghana, and South Africa during my Fall 2011 semester. It gave me a chance to experience Africa first-hand and it was the best experience of my life. I can’t wait to go back someday.
What do you hope to learn during your work with Conceptlink?
ConceptLink is a perfect fit for my interests. Through ConceptLink, I get hands-on experience with strategy planning and better understand the fundamentals of starting social good organizations, especially those that focus overseas. Plus, I’m getting great business tips for my general knowledge.
At ConceptLink, there’s so much passion for Africa and everyone shares the same mission. We all want to see Africa rise and fulfill its potential; the consultants here share the same goals as their NGO clientele. ConceptLink’s passion, integrity, and respect for others speak volumes.
Last question: How does ConceptLink’s passion relate to you?
When I was a kid, I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up. But in the last few years, I’ve really grounded myself in the social impact sector. Whatever I do in life, I just want to be happy- that’s my goal. Doing something that increases the well-being of people, especially those who have been undermined and neglected for so long, is what makes me happy. I would love to see a poverty-free Haiti, a poverty-free Caribbean and Latin America, and a poverty-free Africa sometime in my lifetime. That vision is my lifetime goal.