Passion for Purpose
PROVO, Utah – Dec 15, 2022 – Ashley Wallace’s passion for service and learning has led her from the cliffs of Ireland to the people of Madagascar. Now, as a senior studying entrepreneurship at the BYU Marriott School of Business, she knows the programs at the business school have prepared her to serve better and more responsibly.
During high school, Wallace volunteered with Youthlinc, a nonprofit organization dedicated to building lifelong humanitarians through local service. Wallace volunteered for 80 hours in her hometown of Draper, Utah, before serving in Madagascar for two weeks. She says her favorite part of the experience was seeing beyond a lens of pity.
“Instead of looking at the people around me like they needed help, I started to see how incredible they were,” she explains. “People in Madagascar work 12 hours a day, and they are still happy.” Wallace says her service on the island opened her mind and showed her a world beyond Draper. “Those two weeks were the first time I was completely invested in service and being outside of myself.”
During her freshman year at BYU, Wallace returned to Africa again—this time on a biochemistry study abroad. “We visited Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa,” she says. “We spent time on safaris learning about plants and wildlife, but we also spent time with the local people in villages.
“Again, my heart was there,” she continues. “I learned so much from them. The locals had so little and were still so giving.” Wallace says her time in Madagascar and South Africa showed her she wanted a career that would make an impact on people’s lives.
After coming back to BYU, Wallace realized her job at a chemical engineering lab did not support the people-oriented passion she had found in Africa. Thankfully, she discovered the Ballard Center of Social Impact. “I took the Do Good Better class, and it changed my perspective on how I could better serve and volunteer,” she says.
Wallace also took a social impact projects class through the center and learned about creating companies that make a profit and also fill a humanitarian purpose. “Starting a business someday became my goal,” she says. “So I switched my major from chemical engineering, and I applied for the entrepreneurship program.”
After joining the entrepreneurship program, Wallace worked for Social Impact Projects (SIP), a program at the Ballard Center that partners students with organizations working to make a difference. “I’m a big fan of the program because it’s all about teaching students how to have measurable impact,” she says.
Wallace’s favorite part of BYU Marriott is the Ballard Center. “I love the center,” she states. “It has given me the best direction for what I want to do in my life, which is to have an impact.”
Wallace also credits the Ballard Center for her job with BanQu, a business focused on using blockchain technology to help brands implement transparent supply chains. She worked with BanQu during her time as an internship director with SIP and is now the company’s marketing consultant.
At BanQu, Wallace works to address problems that exist for first contributors in the supply chains, such as harvesters and miners. With her colleagues from the company, Wallace traveled to Ireland to attend business meetings over summer 2022. “I sat in a room with all of these business experts, talking about our business strategy to make supply chains transparent,” she says. “As an entrepreneur, I couldn’t have been in a better situation to learn.
“Seeing and experiencing different business principles was incredibly valuable for me, and I would not have been at that meeting in Ireland if it wasn’t for the Ballard Center and BYU Marriott,” she says.
Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Liesel Allen