• The photo was taken from the Glamour Magazine photo shoot which took place this past summer in Washington D.C., while Tish was interning with the World Bank.

    The photo was taken from the Glamour Magazine photo shoot which took place this past summer in Washington D.C., while Tish was interning with the World Bank.

    Courtney Sung '10

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  • Tish poses with the folding three-wheeler and small business wheelchair prototypes. From left, Tish, Agnes Michael, Daniel Namkessa, and Lucas Tanaki

    Tish poses with the folding three-wheeler and small business wheelchair prototypes. From left, Tish, Agnes Michael, Daniel Namkessa, and Lucas Tanaki

    Beat Mrema

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Tish Scolnik ’10 selected as one of Glamour Magazine’s Top 10 College Women

The photo was taken from the Glamour Magazine photo shoot which took place this past summer in Washington D.C., while Tish was interning with the World Bank.

The October issue of Glamour Magazine has named 2009 Truman Scholar Tish Scolnik as one of their Top 10 College Women, recognizing her work on mobility issues for the disabled.


The October issue of Glamour Magazine
has named 2009 Truman Scholar Tish Scolnik as one of their Top 10
College Women, recognizing her work on mobility issues for the
disabled. Words to live by, according to Tish,
quoted in Glamour Magazine, are “‘Haba na haba hujaza kibaba,’ a Swahili proverb
that can translate to ‘little by little fills the pot.’”

Tish reflects on her experiences, from her arrival at MIT to her hopes for the future

“When I arrived at MIT this fall as a wide-eyed new member of the
class of 2010 I never imagined that I would go this far. I knew that
MIT emphasized a practical, hands-on education, but I never envisioned
myself immersed in the culture of Tanzania, conversing in Swahili, and
working to improve wheelchair technology. I hope that when I return to
Tanzania I’ll be able to purchase something from a wheelchair user who
has set up a business from his chair, and that I can share a seat on
the bus with a disabled user who has safely brought his wheelchair on
board.”

Disabled entrepreneurs start small businesses with Tish’s help

Over the summer of 2008 and over IAP 2009, Public Service Fellow Tish Scolnik helped four disabled
entrepreneurs to start small businesses. She set-up a loan system so
that the entrepreneurs could buy the small-business wheelchairs and
necessary business supplies, helped the entrepreneurs get started with
their businesses, made arrangements with banks to hold their savings
accounts, and supported them through their first hurdles. These pilot
entrepreneurs began by making and selling batik and beaded jewelry,
fixing small electrical goods, and repairing shoes. The entrepreneurs
soon branched out and added new elements to their businesses – keeping
pigs and chickens or selling used clothes, for instance. Having someone
believe in them as business people truly motivated them to reach for
more. The shoe-repair man has used some of his business profits to help
two other disabled entrepreneurs to set up shoe-shining businesses
close to his stall.

Building a new wheelchair workshop in Tanzania

Meanwhile, Tish was also working with one of her community partners
in Tanzania to build a new wheelchair workshop and skills training
center. Through GlobalGiving.com, Tish won the Global Engagement Summit (GES)
Project Challenge and was awarded a $3,500 grant on top of the over
$8,000 she raised herself. Over IAP ’09, Tish and her Tanzanian
community partner identified a plot of land for the new wheelchair
center. They hope to formalize the purchase in the coming months.

To read more about Tish and her small business wheelchair, go to http://web.mit.edu/mitpsc/showcase/stories/scolnik_businesswheelchair.html


Topics: IDEAS competition, Wheelchair technology, Mechanical engineering, Technology and society, Students, Volunteering, outreach, public service, Awards, honors and fellowships

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