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On the path to leadership

After becoming one of only 100 college and university students worldwide selected by the Goldman Sachs Foundation of New York as this year's Goldman Sachs Global Leaders and receiving a $3,000 educational scholarship, Mita Sharma '08 wasn't expecting to receive another honor so soon. But three days after returning from an April conference for this group in New York, Sharma learned that she had been selected as one of 50 students from around the world—only eight of them from the United States—who will return to New York in July to participate in the Goldman Sachs Global Leadership Institute.

Mita Sharma
Mita Sharma

Begun in 2001, the program seeks to develop future global leaders and encourage them to pursue cross-cultural and international projects addressing the world's most urgent political, social, and humanitarian problems.

After reconvening for the worldwide conference in July, the students will begin ironing out the details for a health and social improvement program in a new location overseas. In August they plan to submit a proposal to Goldman Sachs' Social Entrepreneurship Fund, which provides seed grants to projects that encourage leadership opportunities and social change. Past seed funding has helped launch student-initiated projects such as a malaria prevention campaign in Nigeria and an art therapy program for AIDS-affected children in Namibia.

Sharma was selected on the basis of her discussion performance, the strength of her presentation on her experience with a recent Dartmouth student service trip to Nicaragua, and her original application to become a Goldman Sachs Global Leader.

Sharma participated last fall in the Nicaragua Cross-Cultural Education and Service Program sponsored by the Tucker Foundation. Students worked in pairs throughout fall term, preparing a topic for presentation in Hormiguero, Nicaragua. The Dartmouth team provided health care and dispensed medicine while learning about the Nicaraguan culture and people.

"The experience enhanced my appreciation for the littlest things. It's why I want to give back more. I feel so fortunate to have the things I have," Sharma says. "Goldman Sachs Global Leaders are chosen precisely because they already know how to make a difference in the world," Stephanie Bell-Rose, president of The Goldman Sachs Foundation, said at a ceremony during which she announced this year's honorees.

By LINZI SHELDON '06

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Last Updated: 12/17/08