Write an essay where you tell us about what drives you in your pursuit of your graduate degree.

According to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the UN would not tolerate that my friend, Angella, was sexually-exploited (article 34), tortured (article 37), and a child soldier (article 38). But she was.
Kept captive in the “bush” for many years, Angella was a victim of Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army. After meeting Angella, I was motivated to participate in a course at the UN that investigated factors that hinder its effectiveness. Ultimately, I gave too much power to the UN as I witnessed unlikely stakeholders like businesses engaging in events to counter social issues.
Considering companies’ financial power, my career goal is to transform the common narrative of firms causing social problems to businesses combating them. I started to realize my vision by working for TD Bank’s Corporate Citizenship team and PUBLIC Inc., a social impact consultancy. In both roles, I helped companies become leaders of social impact in their respective industries. I am currently pursuing a Master in Public Policy at Harvard to gain the skills to draft policies that incentivize more meaningful corporate citizenship initiatives as sustainable solutions to social problems, particularly modern slavery along the global supply chain.
My interest in modern slavery began in grade 5 when I learnt about the 1996 Nike’s child labor scandal in Asia. However, it was only recently that I discovered that this issue touched closer to home than I realized. For years, I was unaware that my father was a victim of labor exploitation; he does not share his story much. As a migrant farmer worker from Jamaica, he toiled isolated fields in rural Ontario for 12 hours every day with no time-off where his mobility was limited, his paycheque was reduced, and his living facilities did not even have a restroom. Perhaps this hidden part of my family history is why I was unconsciously drawn to this issue–an issue where the stories of those at the bottom of the supply chain are not heard enough.

Na'Shantéa from Massachusetts
Harvard University