Sullivan Ignite Retreat: a powerful weekend of personal and professional growth

by Evan Joss, Rollins College student

The Sullivan Ignite Retreat was a three-day retreat to Durham, North Carolina where students had the opportunity to hone in on their changemaking skills to make a positive difference in the world.  Like-minded changemakers joined together and enjoyed a weekend full of s’mores, arts and crafts, and social innovation!  As a student involved with the Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Hub at Rollins, I learned skills that I could bring back and use at school and at the Hub.

The Sullivan Ignite Retreat not only provided a constructive learning atmosphere among like-minded and entrepreneurial spirited individuals, but it also shed light on the importance of making connections and breaking free from comfort zones. Students attend this retreat to learn more about the problems they wish to solve, network with students from around the world, and expand their knowledge of what it means to truly be an entrepreneur.

The most significant skill I gained from this experience came from an activity I participated in that allowed me to pretend I was a business owner speaking with certain investors, partners, and/or customers I would interact with if I really was the owner of my business. It gave me insight into the necessity of real-world conversations that are vital to creating and sustaining a business.

In terms of how this retreat impacted my professional goals, I would not only say it was a positive result, but would also recommend it to anyone interested in growing an idea, project, or business venture of their own. From the facilitators to the students to the cafeteria cooks, everyone involved with this experience was dedicated to honestly instilling a meaningful and powerful weekend of personal and professional growth.

The best part of the Sullivan Ignite Retreat is that it is never-ending. Even though the retreat itself may have only been one weekend long, I am still connected and involved with the people I met and worked with. However, they are not just people anymore. They are my friends.


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