After being in Denver for over 3 months, the only complaint I have is that it all went by too fast! It is going to be hard to go back to Iowa. The thrill of adventure is so enticing and I have loved doing something new and different this semester.
One of the things which I have been thinking about since I have been here is a way to use my accounting/business degree to promote sustainability and to make positive change in my community. The class trips which we have taken have been good ways for me to get ideas and see how other people used their educations to contribute. One particularly thought-provoking trip for me was the Stanley Marketplace in Aurora.
The first thing you would notice about the Stanley Marketplace is how different it is. The founders wanted to create something special. They took an old, abandoned airport, reused as much of the building as they could, and turned it into what they call an anti-mall. Stanley is a place for Colorado businesses only. No chains are allowed. The building is fascinating. Bits and pieces from the airport were reused, a reminder of the historic site which they took over. When you shop in the Stanley Marketplace, you can rest assured that you are buying local, quality products. You are giving back to the community. The Stanley Marketplace is a gift to citizens in the Greater Denver area.
The tour guide, who was one of the founders, was so passionate about the project and his vision for sustainability. Not only was the marketplace a great business investment, but he could feel good in it too. I have always thought that one of the keys to happiness in life is to help others. Even though I doubt I will ever start a marketplace, the overall mission was so inspirational for me. The founders had found a way to use their backgrounds to make a difference.
When I think about my own vocation, I am sometimes overwhelmed. The world can be so big, which is even more apparent when you live in a metropolis like Denver. Can one person like myself really make a difference? The Stanley Marketplace was one of the many trips in Denver that have really caused me to believe in my own vocation. This semester has been more than skiing, hiking, and eating tasty Denver food. I have developed a passion to do my part in creating a smarter, more sustainable world. When I go back to Wartburg, I am excited to bring that with me.