Mitch Newlin ’12 Writes Home

Mitch_Newlin

After graduating from high school in the spring of 2012, I took a gap year and spent the first semester living in Kakamega, Kenya, at the orphanage to which I had become closely connected. I spent the second semester working full time for Gelato Fiasco. In the fall of 2013, I enrolled at Bates College, and stayed closely connected to both Friends of Kakamega and Gelato Fiasco. I am currently a full time student at Bates, majoring in Economics, a part time employee of Gelato Fiasco, and a Board member for Friends of Kakamega, and I’ve had the privilege of visiting the orphanage five times at this point.

More recently, I began a new business called Re-Fridge, a business that recycles college dorm fridges. I have focused on entrepreneurship that emphasizes customer satisfaction and a collaborative work culture, addresses environmental concerns, and is committed to philanthropy. Part of Re-Fridge’s “Giving Back” plan relates to socially responsible entrepreneurship.

I am honored to call myself a Waynflete alumni, and know that I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support and care of the Waynflete teachers and community.  Waynflete still is a place I can call home! Looking back at Waynflete, I see that it was the place where I expanded my ability to think critically, solve problems, write concisely, and understand difference. I was lucky enough to have become close friends with students in the LGTBQ community as well as immigrants from Somalia, Sudan, Congo and other countries who had strong religious backgrounds, both Christian and Muslim. I learned to better acknowledge, appreciate, and understand these differences in identity through my involvement in RAaW, and the respect I was given by teachers and staff was extremely empowering.

I think the ability and support of the Waynflete teachers cannot be credited enough! They care deeply about each and every student and go out of their way to ensure that their students receive what they individually need. The class discussions made school engaging, and I could not have been better prepared for college, which is entirely due to the fantastic teachers. I would argue that in many respects some classes at Waynflete pushed me more than classes at Bates, and in a good way!

I could go on and on! The community is wonderful, and it truly is a SAFE space for all.

An USNOW story on Mitch’s business launch is linked here.