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ignite retreat attendee

Kelly Ruth Fuqua

K

elly Ruth Fuqua is a student at Campbell University and president of the Campbell University Social Entrepreneurship Club. Her goal in attending a Sullivan Foundation Ignite Retreat was to develop more ideas and strategies for her club. Fuqua attended the Blue Ridge Assmebly YMCA where she was able to hone her passions and put them to a more practical use through her mentors and experience. “I bonded more with the facilitators than ever before. I came with a purpose and it helped already having an idea of what the experience would be like. You get out what you put in and I gained quite a lot!” Through her experience at the Ignite Retreat Fuqua has been able to put this insight to use in her club. The Campbell University Social Entrepreneurship Club is currently producing a video with multiple testimonies from the facilitators about various aspects of social entrepreneurship and how to get others involved. She is also utilizing the club to put together a virtual tour of the Ignite Retreat for others to use prior to their attendance to help future attendees get the most out of their experience. “My ideas on entrepreneurship did not change, but were reinforced, enhanced and made better. I am still planning on starting several non-profits later in life, but I know have more focused ideas and had help with my future plans” Fuqua said.

The Sullivan Retreat also redefined Fuqua’s ideas surrounding social work and community service. Prior to the retreat, she, and many others she spoke too, saw service work as more of a condition requirement. However, due to her time at the retreat, her opinion became more rounded and multi-dimensional. “Now I feel more that you should envelop the idea of community change. Introduce a new idea or product or service that will benefit that community, and you will change it, thus providing the service,” Fuqua said. Overall, Fuqua describes that the retreats inspires her in everyway and makes her a better whole. Through the relationships she created, the ideas she cultivated and her changed mindset, she felt she came out of the retreat a person more readily able to instigate change. “The retreat always inspires my efforts to give others in my community a mini-ignite experience much like the problem museum exercise,” Fuqua said. “I feel like it creates a ripple effect of change inside me and those around me. Those impacted by these exercises lead to multiple generations of this ripple. Like I said, my plans are to start several nonprofits soon and keep those ripples going!”

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