Santa Clara University


Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative (NPI)

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 Zachary Morris

Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013

While at Santa Clara, I had struggled to find a balance between my love for business and my love for community service.  When I first heard of the Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative, I was attracted to it because it allowed me, an accounting major, to use my skills in business to help a community.  Not only was this a great opportunity to participate in while in college, but it has become something that I intend to mold my professional career around. 

Although I was in the second group to participate in NPI, our group was still searching to understand what our calling was to the Washington neighborhood.  We looked into flooding the neighborhood with our business knowledge and trying to help whoever wanted help, but we soon realized that this may not have lasting benefits to the community.  Instead, we decided to start small and work our way up, helping one business owner at a time.  Our first business owner became Yolanda.

Yolanda owns a small market that also functions as a catering business.  First walking into Yolanda's we were unsure as to how we could help, and it was quite daunting to be in a real life situation and working with someone with real life barriers and problems.  Nevertheless, we had the education and resources from Santa Clara to make a change.  After discussing with Yolanda about what her business struggles were, we, along with the next NPI class, set up an action plan of how we can make effective changes to the market to help her gain more business and thus increase her profit. 

Right now, I am working to update the market's inventory system with fellow NPI members.  We are practically applying our knowledge of accounting and finance to analyze what solutions may best work for her as well as save her money in the long run.  This experience has not only given me insight into the struggles of the Washington community but also has greatly grown my practical knowledge of business and accounting.  I am excited to see the effects of our efforts in the coming months and hope that others will join to offer their skills and knowledge to the community.

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