Community Voice tells stories of the American Dream in Action. We amplify the voices of small business owners and the impact our students make in partnership with small business clients during their pro bono consulting projects.

Breaking The Cycle: How One DC Small Business Is Finding Its Niche

"When you walk into Laurie’s store, there is a distinct smell. It smells like bikes. And it’s a really cool smell because you feel like you’re in a garage where things are happening. Bikes are being fixed. Bikes are being spun. Another challenge that small business owners face is being able to market themselves as this unique location. Not as another shop that popped up in College Park in 2017. But as a shop that’s been here and that’s been part of the culture, the history. As a shop that’s founded by two Terps, two University of Maryland students."

University of Maryland
Class of 2020

Life Hacks: Public Speaking Tips from an Executive Turned Small Business Owner

"My biggest message the one that I am most passionate about for student audiences is about reclaiming our power of belonging. What I mean by that is that many of us at any age, at all ages, rely on other people to tell us that we belong. And I have been through some really painful experiences in my life and I have come out on the other side of them having figured out that I own my sense of belonging. I determine when I belong and when I don’t. Since I made that discovery, I have blossomed into being me and I have gained strength and confidence in being me and not trying to be who you think I am. And I want to reach people at early ages so you don’t waste time trying to be someone else and you can have more time being you."

Wendy Gates Corbett


From Whiteboards to Teach For America

"I would make people more empathetic or make them think more about empathy. And the reason is because you have never walked a day in another person’s shoes. You may think that you’ve walked very similarly or you may have spent a great deal of time with them, but if you really dig deep, everybody is so different. So so so different. And I think, on the surface, we as humans tend to make things seem as if they’re one when they’re really not. With empathy I think comes understanding that you’re different and really seeking to understand other people’s stories."



American Dream Clean

"One of the things that's been exciting about working with this company is realizing how we can use these tools, which are used in big consulting firms, for small businesses. For us to be able to go in and use open source software and set this up completely for free marks a coming together of our technological knowledge, the goals of this business, and starts a model that can be very scalable to other industries."


Wesleyan Chapter Founder

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