ChangeMaker Club Welcomes Social Entrepreneurs to Learn From Their Experiences

Publisher Linda Cortright and filmmaker Stanzi Dorjai shared their experiences about building community, creating economic opportunity and relaying the stories of the people of Ladakh with Collegiate School 7th and 8th Graders involved in the ChangeMaker Club in October.
In the club, students work collaboratively to uncover and understand challenges on Collegiate's campus and in the community with the intent of designing solutions that lay the foundation for a future student-led business that will solve problems and contribute to the community at large.  

As the founder, editor and publisher of Wild Fibers magazine, Ms. Cortright has traveled the world to better understand the vital role natural fibers play in the environment and people's lives.

In doing that work, Ms. Cortright met and joined forces with Ladakh community leaders in Northern India to create the Pangong Craft Center that enables women to leverage the area’s natural resources and build a better life for themselves and their families. One of the community leaders and partners in that effort is Stanzin Dorjai, an award-winning Indian documentary filmmaker from Ladakh.

Mr. Dorjai shared the story of his sister, a high Himalayan shepherdess, in the film Shepherdess of the Glaciers. Born to a nomadic family in a village called Gya, Mr. Dorjai’s family owns yaks and sheep. In 2000, he worked as the editor, executive producer and the cinematographer of Tsondus, his first feature film. In 2006, he founded the Himalayan Film House, Leh with Tsering Zangpo. In 2007, Migchoo became the first film made by the studio followed by Shepherdess of the Glaciers, winning the Grand Prize at Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival.

The stories shared were empowering and demonstrated a deep appreciation of the culture and people of the Ladakh community, as well as the power of social entrepreneurship. Ms. Cortright’s and Mr. Dorjai’s entrepreneurial journeys align with the process that unfolds during the ChangeMaker Club and through the Institute for Responsible Citizenship at Collegiate School, which provides a cohesive curriculum in eight vital areas from JK-12th Grade. The institute is dedicated to helping students learn to be leaders for change through social entrepreneurship across different cultural contexts.