“Tourist industry income is sporadic and not stable at all. Radiate is the solution.”
Name: Alyssa Rose
Hometown: Las Vegas, NV
Education: Fordham University
Passions and Interests: Hiking, spending time with family & friends and drinking too much coffee
Transformational Experience: Dominican Republic: Beachside Service Adventure
Making an Impact: Co-founded a microfinance venture that empowers artists in developing regions
In many developing regions of the world, tourism is a critical source of income for families working to make ends meet (and often only barely). Yet income from tourism is sporadic and unpredictable. A worldwide economic downturn like the one that began in 2008 can have especially severe consequences as consumers in wealthier countries cut back extraneous spending. Except that what is ‘extraneous’ to someone from the United States may be the money a family in a developing country depends on.
Fortunately, there are new and exciting ideas coming to fruition that are looking to overcome these issues, and provide families in these regions with reliable income sources that can be counted on long-term. And Alyssa Rose is one of the people making it happen.
As a co-founder of Radiate Market, Alyssa is working to “empower artists in developing regions by providing an online platform which will allow these creators to access a larger and more consistent market.”
The benefits are twofold: artists are able to find buyers with resources who can support their art, thereby letting local art flourish in places like the Dominican Republic, while also providing a steadier income to artists who participate, so they can better provide for their own families.
Alyssa started her road to founding Radiate several years back. One early, eye-opening experience was her trip to the Dominican Republic through GLA’s Beachside Service Adventure program. Her passion for global health influenced her initial decision to go on the program. She said that public health “is a core human right that is often overlooked.” However, after her time in the DR, she’s now more interested in the “social construction of health.”
Since then, she’s put her new passion to action.
My group of [GLA] returnees raised $17,000 to go towards medical clinics in the DR. Radiate’s initial Indiegogo campaign for seed money raised $1,800, and all of that and more has been invested directly into our 7 artisans. I’ve spent over 6 months abroad (in total) doing various service projects since GLA.”
Since her experience with GLA, Alyssa has kept herself busy. She went on immersion trips to Ecuador and Nicaragua, led a medical outreach excursion to Guatemala, and will be leading her second medical outreach trip over winter break from college to Albania. Alyssa has also returned to the DR to work with GLA’s local partner organization, 7 Elements, for the past two summers.She credits her extended time in the Dominican Republic for helping her form the idea for Radiate, which she started in collaboration with her friend, Kiera Maloney.
It’s really great to be able to use what I learned on my GLA project and be able to directly apply that to the situations of some of the people I got to meet there. When you go on a trip like GLA, I think you’re often left feeling so passionate about the causes you just learned.”
Radiate Market is working with a number of artists and co-operatives in the Dominican Republic right now. Artists are supported on their “journey towards growth and sustainability by Radiate.” This is accomplished by selling and promoting artists’ products on Radiate’s online marketplace, which is targeted towards consumers and supports who are socially-minded.
By purchasing the goods available on Radiate, consumers are supporting artisans as they “develop a sense of financial security, a position of respect within their community, and an opportunity to radiate their true self.”
As for the continued growth of Radiate and her next steps, Alyssa is open to what the future has to bring. Regardless, she’s committed to making a difference, no matter what form it happens to be.
I don’t know that I have an ultimate goal for service. I don’t think there’s any benchmark that would be good enough for me to reach that I could say “Okay, I’m done now.” It’s more of a lifestyle choice. Volunteering, traveling and experiencing different cultures is what excites me. If I can continue to do that and live a life that’s dedicated to experiencing all that the world has to offer, and hopefully helping to make it a more fair and equal place, that would be the goal!”
Alyssa is currently attending the Fordham University in New York. Her advice for meaningful life? “Find that thing that sets you on fire and jump in head first. The best thing you can do for the world is be passionate.”
If you’d like to help support participants in Radiate Market, you can do so here.
Program Alyssa attended:
Curious about exploring your own GLA adventure? Check these out:
- GLA Dominican Republic: Beachside Service Adventure
- GLA Dominican Republic: Building a Sustainable World™
- GLA Dominican Republic: Global Health Initiative™
- GLA Dominican Republic: Spring Break Service Adventure