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Developing leaders, shaping the world

Malaika ThorneMalaika Thorne and her classmates traveled to Ghana in 2008 to learn about the history, culture, and business opportunities inthe West African country.

Malaika Thorne, MBA ’09, chose to pursue an MBA after spending the summer of 2003 volunteering at an ecological center in Aguascalientes, Mexico, and simultaneously editing a book written by her grandfather, a development economist. She saw a connection between her hands-on experiences and her grandfather's theories of economic growth that instilled in her a sense of urgency and led her to MIT Sloan.

At the center, Thorne taught children about recycling paper and better water-use habits in a region that suffers from droughts and deforestation. As she edited the book, Thorne recognized these environmental problems as symptomatic of misuse of resources in a developing economy.

A Diversity Fellowship supported by the Annual Fund made it possible for Thorne, who was born in Puerto Rico and grew up both there and in Cambridge, Mass., to pursue her interest in energy, environment, and economic development at the School.

The MIT Sloan Annual Fund is made up entirely of unrestricted gifts — contributions made to the School without limitation on their use. With this flexibility, Annual Fund dollars can be used when and where they are needed most. This flexibility enables MIT Sloan to make immediate decisions, for example, deciding to provide Thorne with funding to pursue an MBA at the School.

The Annual Fund is a fundraising priority for John C Head III Dean David Schmittlein. To maintain the School's position in the premier rank of business schools worldwide, the MIT Sloan community must be ready to seize opportunities; respond to crises; invest in new ideas, technologies, avenues, and individuals; and meet future challenges the School cannot yet imagine or define. In order to do so, MIT Sloan employs the Annual Fund.

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