Paying It Forward

Paying It Forward

“This maybe the day that I finally pay it forward” I said to a group of students just minutes ago. I’m writing this at a desk inside the American International School in Dhaka. I was invited to talk to the students here and, after a very long day, I just finished talking to over 200 students in both classroom and large auditorium settings. The photo above is a one I took after spending about an hour and half talking to a group of high school science students about my work and the work of Dr. Jeffrey Sachs.

It is a strange reversal of roles. It wasn’t long ago that I was a student listening to a man passionate about ending poverty. That man was Dr. Jeffrey Sachs and I was then a grad student at Notre Dame. Fast forward nearly two years – and over 8,000 miles away – and here I am (a passionate guy about ending poverty) talking to a group of students. I got to talk to middle school and high school students of virtually every race, ethnicity, religion, and nationality. It doesn’t get more amazing than that.

It was also the first time in my life I got recognized off YouTube by a stranger. One of the students in the first class I was speaking to asked me if I make videos on YouTube (I was so nervous with my first talk that I entirely forgot to mention that my work involves YouTube). Apparently, this student had searched for Bangladesh on YouTube before his family moved here and found my Christmas Day video. It was surreal. What was even more surreal was how amazed some of the teachers are about my work.

“He’s the only one in the world that’s doing something like this right now!” exclaimed High School Science Teacher Rick Davis to his students. Hopefully, whether it’s by a someone inspired here at AIS Dhaka or somewhere else in the world, I won’t be long before I am not the only one doing a project like this.

(And if anybody at AIS is reading this – why not add me as a friend on facebook?)

6 Responses to “Paying It Forward”


  1. 1 William Donaruma

    Shawn,

    We are traveling with Bengal Bouts boxers to Bangladesh June 1-14th to shoot a potential documentary on the missions and the parallel with the efforts here to help. We need to meet up when we get there. I can forward you more information.
    Please contact me. You will be a valuable resource.
    William Donaruma
    faculty
    Film, TV and Theatre
    Notre Dame

  2. 2 William Donaruma

    Shawn,

    We are traveling with Bengal Bouts boxers to Bangladesh June 1-14th to shoot a potential documentary on the missions and the parallel with the efforts here to help. We need to meet up when we get there. I can forward you more information.
    Please contact me. You will be a valuable resource.
    William Donaruma
    faculty
    Film, TV and Theatre
    Notre Dame

  3. 3 William Donaruma

    Shawn,

    We are traveling with Bengal Bouts boxers to Bangladesh June 1-14th to shoot a potential documentary on the missions and the parallel with the efforts here to help. We need to meet up when we get there. I can forward you more information.
    Please contact me. You will be a valuable resource.
    William Donaruma
    faculty
    Film, TV and Theatre
    Notre Dame

  4. 4 PK

    Hey Shawn,

    First I wanted to say that what you’re doing is incredible, and if more people were like you, the world would be a better place for sure.
    Second, I wish I had known about the American International School before. My family moved from Bangladesh to Canada when I was five, and then we went back when I turned ten. I hated school there because even though I was in an English medium school, the other kids treated me like an alien since I was basically a foreigner. If I had known about a school where other kids like me went, I would’ve killed to go there.

    Anyway, keep up the awesome work and post more youtube videos!

  5. 5 PK

    Hey Shawn,

    First I wanted to say that what you’re doing is incredible, and if more people were like you, the world would be a better place for sure.
    Second, I wish I had known about the American International School before. My family moved from Bangladesh to Canada when I was five, and then we went back when I turned ten. I hated school there because even though I was in an English medium school, the other kids treated me like an alien since I was basically a foreigner. If I had known about a school where other kids like me went, I would’ve killed to go there.

    Anyway, keep up the awesome work and post more youtube videos!

  6. 6 PK

    Hey Shawn,

    First I wanted to say that what you’re doing is incredible, and if more people were like you, the world would be a better place for sure.
    Second, I wish I had known about the American International School before. My family moved from Bangladesh to Canada when I was five, and then we went back when I turned ten. I hated school there because even though I was in an English medium school, the other kids treated me like an alien since I was basically a foreigner. If I had known about a school where other kids like me went, I would’ve killed to go there.

    Anyway, keep up the awesome work and post more youtube videos!

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