Santa Clara University


Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative (NPI)

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 Monica Ferrone

Monday, Mar. 4, 2013

During Fall Quarter 2012, I was a member of the second NPI class to work with a local business in the Washington neighborhood of San Jose – Yolanda’s Market and Catering. The objective our class established is to contribute the business knowledge and skills we obtain through our education at SCU to one small business in the Washington area at a time in order to improve each one’s profitability and consumer awareness in the community. After fostering a relationship with business owner Yolanda, and being inspired by ideas to improve her business, I was eager to continue my involvement with NPI as a “learning leader” in order to truly help Yolanda and, thereby, positively impact the neighborhood.

As a Marketing major and Retail Studies minor, I have had the opportunity to apply many concepts and theories from my classes at Santa Clara to real life situations in Yolanda’s business. Utilizing information we have learned about consumer research, a group of marketing centric students and I formulated and conducted a survey of the customers at Yolanda’s market. Through this research, we gained an understanding of her target market and how her business can effectively meet its needs and appeal to its customers.

Additionally, our group has worked together to create a new logo and catering menu for Yolanda that makes her offerings clear and enticing. We intend to distribute this to the community in order to create awareness of the catering business that she hopes to expand. One of our main goals is to refresh the overall look and feel of Yolanda’s market, including streamlining her product offerings. Although this process will likely not reach completion this quarter, we are excitedly planning a grand re-opening event for the improved business.

Based on these real life applications of my academic work, experiences working with Yolanda, and involvement with my Arrupe placement in the Washington neighborhood last quarter, I have realized that being an engaged member of the community is not limited to the community service that often comes to mind. The knowledge and skills that we develop in the Leavey School of Business as part of our Jesuit education are valuable assets that should be shared with our communities. Therefore, in the future I look forward to working for a company that has a strong social responsibility component that I can be involved in; as well as plan to seek out volunteer opportunities to which I can contribute my skill set and business knowledge.


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