Jayanta Patra

2011 MCN Conference | Undergraduate University: Dharanidhar College | Place of Origin: India

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My MCN Story:

"While I was a student at The Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University, I was exposed to many national and international issues that should be addressed and discussed on a bigger platform. Along the way, I found MCN and got connected with them. I attended seminars and workshops organized by MCN and subsequently participated and exchanged my own ideas and concerns. It was a great and very interesting platform for youth to speak out. My time with MCN helped me a lot in terms of connecting me with researchers, experts, professionals, students, and professors to discuss international issues and think up solutions. Now I am using my network and expertise gained from MCN to fulfill my daily professional work."

Student Leadership:

"As a student leader, I've learned two very important lessons about leadership. They are:

  1. Control your anger and frustration when in any sort of conflict- remaining calm and collected is the best way to resolve conflict
  2. Dialogue and discussions are the best tools to attract people with opposing viewpoints."

First Experience with Social Impact Work:

"I was a football player in my village in India when I was younger. One time after a game, a person from a higher caste said “we shouldn’t play anymore matches where Dalit (a member of the lowest caste in India) are playing as we are touching them during the game." He said this because there is still a lot of pre-existing caste discrimination happening in present day India. Outraged that this discrimination still exists, I used these games as a platform to talk about the caste system; and over time, we began to have more dialogues and discussions on these difficult topics. The conversations we had were eye-opening and brought to light perspectives that hadn't been brought up before. I learned then that communication is very important and is the first step in creating social change."

Today:

"Currently, I am working with Oxfam India as a Project Officer. Oxfam India is a non-profit organization working for the marginalized and deprived communities. As a social justice leader, I had an interest to work for the marginalized communities for their all-round development. Now I am taking care of Community Led Organizations for their capacity, networking, and advocacy skill building."


*The "quotes" above have been edited for concision and clarity. 

Katie Sgarro

2015 MCN Conference; Campaign; Fellowship | Undergraduate University: University of Pennsylvania, BA

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My MCN Story:

"As the winner of the 2015 Millennium Campus Conference (MCC15) Millennium Peace Prize, a prize celebrating youth activism advancing cultures of peace, I was given the chance to launch the “#AsylumConnect: In Pursuit of Happiness, Freedom and Safety” global peace campaign at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City in August 2015. Supported by MCN and The MCJ/Amelior Foundation, this prize presented me with the rare opportunity to break down prejudices. It introduced me to a panel of global development expert mentors, and over 450 student leaders from more than 50 countries around the world. It let me present my case, an argument for respecting the humanity of all people, to delegates who live in countries where it is still illegal to be gay.

During the 2015-16 academic year, in partnership with MCN, AsylumConnect hosted monthly, two-hour, interactive webinars to keep global student leaders engaged in the campaign. Throughout the year, the AsylumConnect global peace campaign was able to engage over 40 global campaign members. Our campaign allowed us to raise awareness for our organization, LGBTQ asylum seekers in the U.S., and global LGBTQ rights. (Throughout this campaign, I also participated in MCN’s 2015-16 Millennium Fellowship program for further guidance and support.)

Long past the campaign, MCN has proved to be a major ally for AsylumConnect. The MCN team has consistently gone out of their way to invest in our success - from serving as our first fiscal sponsor to Raina Fox, MCN’s Partnerships Director, providing ongoing insight as a member of our Advisory Council. MCN has played a pivotal role in helping AsylumConnect to attract unprecedented attention to our cause. By believing in me, MCN has allowed me to believe in myself and as a result, AsylumConnect has been able to transition from an unincorporated volunteer initiative with a vision into a fiscally sponsored nonprofit making significant strides towards achieving its goal of providing the first online resource database for LGBTQ asylum seekers in the U.S."

Student Leadership:

"AsylumConnect began as a multi-pronged project that was national in scope. For our first major grant application (the 2015 University of Pennsylvania's President's Engagement Prizes), we proposed AsylumConnect would encompass the following activities: an online resource catalog (via website and mobile app), a grants program to support LGBTQ asylum seekers’ basic human needs, themed educational webinars, and animated how-to videos. During our interview for Penn’s President’s Engagement Prizes, it became clear that the judges thought our proposal contained too many moving parts and would have been stronger if it was more focused.

After this initial mistake, we worked to refine our proposal to reflect the selection committee’s emphasis on feasibility. With this recommendation in mind, we decided to focus AsylumConnect on delivering one primary service: improving and scaling the first online resource database for LGBTQ asylum seekers in the U.S. (This revised proposal would ultimately win our first major funding, courtesy of MCN and The MCJ/Amelior Foundation.)

Today, I believe in the value of specializing - on pinpointing a clear gap in services and focusing exclusively on solving that one need. I’ve learned that for social entrepreneurs, particularly young student leaders, one’s ability to curb ambition to match feasibility often proves to be an accurate predictor of future impact and sustainability. As a young student leader, you will never have all of the answers. As a result, it is vital to focus your efforts, to build responsibly, and to be willing to incorporate feedback to strengthen your initiative."

First Experience with Social Impact Work:

"Before I co-founded AsylumConnect at the age of 21, I had never heard of “social entrepreneurship” or even the greater field of social impact.

I was introduced to social impact through the lens of a specific cause, which resonated with me so deeply that an introduction quickly transformed into a lifelong pursuit.

On a crisp winter morning, early in AsylumConnect’s development, I traveled to the NYC LGBT Community Center to attend a panel discussion on the challenges of seeking LGBTQ asylum in the U.S. There, I found myself face-to-face with former LGBTQ asylum seekers, who shared stories of their tremendous resilience  —  recounting the hate and brutality they were forced to overcome to simply sit before me. Their words provided me with almost instantaneous clarity, rearranging my personal and professional priorities.

Their words shattered my existing life plan  —  resurrecting a new one in its place. Today, I still revisit that moment whenever I need motivation to push forward with AsylumConnect."


Katie Sgarro is a writer, social entrepreneur and LGBTQ advocate. She is Co-Founder & President of AsylumConnect, a fiscally sponsored nonprofit creating the first online resource database for LGBTQ asylum seekers in the U.S. She received her B.A. in Health & Societies from the University of Pennsylvania and her M.S. in Management Studies from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management in Chicago. To learn more about Katie, visit her personal website at: www.katiesgarro.com.

Eunice Kim

2016 MCN Intern | Undergraduate University: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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My MCN Story:

"My MCN story started in summer 2015. I found out about the Millennium Campus Conference (MCC 2015) online and signed up to be a volunteer. During the conference, I made friends with youth delegates from around the world and was inspired by our conversations and everyone’s passion for global development. Post-conference, I kept up with MCN via Facebook and applied to be an intern in winter 2016.

During summer 2016, I was the Director of Outreach intern and led the Social Media and Branding team. I was given a lot of creative freedom and trust from my supervisor, which helped me excel in the role.

One memory I will never forget is Open Mic night at MCC 2016. Youth delegates were invited to share their talents, whatever they may be, without any barrier to entry- no auditions. The events that followed were truly incredible. Delegates from all over the world shared their cultural dances, songs, and poetry and were being celebrated. It was a really beautiful event that I will never forget. Everyone not only felt accepted but also included."

Student Leadership:

"Great leaders are resourceful. One should be prepared to go out of their way to find the answer independently. Being resourceful also means taking advantage of every situation and being alert to possible opportunities."

Today:

"I’m currently interning at Yahoo’s Office of Inclusive Diversity. I believe creating an inclusive atmosphere in the workplace is important because it results in talent retainment and drives business results.

Everyone has the right to bring their whole selves to work and to be celebrated!

I also believe that with great power comes great responsibility. I want to encourage the tech industry to look for and support diverse talent because we need the workplace to be representative of its consumers.  

In addition, I’m doing a creative strategy program hosted at Google where I bring my creative ideas to life using video and photography. I want to develop my media skills so I can help people share their stories and hopefully encourage empathy in the world.

I’d love for you to check out my work on my personal website."

Gabrielle Wimer

2016 MCN Conference | Undergraduate University: The University of Chicago, BA | Place of Origin: USA

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Student Leadership:

"The whole experience of starting MealFlour in Guatemala has pushed me outside of my comfort zone as a student leader- or simply leader. I’ve had to move to a new country, teach classes on mealworm farming in Spanish, and work to establish connections with the government and other NGOs. It has been incredibly challenging at times, but it has showed me the importance of surrounding myself with colleagues who have the same mission and drive. It is because of my co-founders’ support and our ability to work through problems together that we have been able to persevere and continue working towards making our goal a reality.

In my opinion, the most important characteristic for a young leader to have is drive. Social impact work can be draining and there are often setbacks. But if you have a clear idea on why you're doing the things that you're doing, you will be able to persevere through it all."

Glimpse of "mealworm powder"

Glimpse of "mealworm powder"

Today:

Cooking with mealworm flour

Cooking with mealworm flour

"I’m currently working in Guatemala on my social enterprise MealFlour with my two co-founders, including fellow MCN alumna Elizabeth Frank. Our mission is to empower communities to prevent the serious health problems associated with protein deficiency while acknowledging the interconnected issues of low income and environmental impact. We do this by teaching people how to build and maintain environmentally sustainable mealworm farms and turn the mealworms into a protein-rich powder that’s easy to incorporate into a variety of foods and that can be sold as an additional source of income. We were inspired to create MealFlour because of our shared desire to design and implement holistic global health solutions that include communities in designing solutions that address the multi-faceted problem of malnutrition."


*The "quotes" above have been edited for concision and clarity.

Juhi Kore

2016 MCN Conference | Undergraduate University: The University of Tampa | Place of Origin: South Asia

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Student Leadership:

"A time that I was most effective as a student leader was when I organized the ONE Vote ‘16 Campaign event at my university. My university's student body was, unfortunately, more disengaged during this recent election- I wanted to turn that around, so I and my dedicated ONE team used our planning and event management skills to mobilize participation. To me and my team's joy, our event was hailed as a success from the team at the ONE headquarters in Florida; they told us, that compared to other events all over the country, this was one of the most engaged events they'd been to.

A time that I made a mistake as a student leader was this past year when I overloaded myself with courses and multiple leadership roles in multiple organizations. I was doing so many things at once that I couldn't dedicate my full attention and time to any of my interests, one of which was my student leadership roles. And since being a leader requires devotion and commitment, as it involves working with and leading other people, I've learned that it is crucial to prioritize; it is so important to be your whole and fullest self when going through your endeavors. 

In my opinion, the one characteristic that a young leader should absolutely have is open-mindedness. As a student leader or any leader in the world, you are going to have to deal with people from various different backgrounds, ethnicities, and life experiences. If you are a close-minded individual and do not respect the opinions of other people, you are going to have a really hard time mobilizing people and getting people to agree with you or stand for the same issues that you stand for. In the divided world that we live in today, it is more important than ever to be respectful of other people's perspectives, which means not judging them on a surface level and/or invalidating their opinions just because they differ from yours. This is why I truly believe that open-mindedness is the most important characteristic that a young leader should have."

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Today:

"I will be graduating from the University of Tampa at the end of this coming spring semester and am currently preparing to study abroad at the University of Oxford the following fall semester.

This summer I've been keeping myself busy before school and have been involved with three big projects. The first is a new YouTube series that I created, titled #JuhiApproved, where I talk about things/people that have inspired me and what I would recommend to people. Along with my youtube series, I will be launching a weekly live show on Facebook about Social Entrepreneurship. I'll be interviewing and highlighting social entrepreneurs and local entrepreneurs who are socially aware and conscious and are actively working towards solving social problems.

The second project that I'm involved with is called Case for Youth. I am a research team member for the project and got connected with the research team through MCN. Lastly, I'm involved with a project called Coalition of Leaders for Sustainable Development. This initiative works closely with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, as we are trying to implement programs for raising awareness for the sustainable development goals. For this initiative, I am involved with the core planning team.

The reason that I want to create a career out of active citizenship and social impact is because I truly believe in unifying people and using social entrepreneurship as a means to solve the world's problems."


*The "quotes" above have been edited for clarity and concision.

Sarah Khimjee

2016-2017 MCN Fellow | Undergraduate University: Brandeis University | Place of Origin: India

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Undergraduate Brandeis University student and Posse Scholar Sarah Khimjee was born and raised in India. She came to the States at fourteen years old to attend high school in New York City. All throughout high school, and her first year of college, Sarah thought she wanted to be “pre-med.” But after some thought and acknowledging her growing interest in female empowerment, gender equality, and human rights, she realized that pre-med just wasn’t for her; instead, her passions were in advocacy and social justice.

Determined to channel her passion for social advocacy into an action and not just a sentiment, she started a Girl Up chapter at her NYC high school. Girl Up is a campaign of the United Nations Foundation; it’s an organization created to support the work of the UN. Growing up in India, Sarah witnessed first-hand the disadvantages that girls faced when the tools and resources for education and empowerment were not provided or sparse. Girl Up’s mission to empower girls worldwide and provide them opportunities to grow resonated with Sarah. It was only natural then that she became an advocate for Girl Up, and what better way to do so than to create a chapter for the organization at her high school- her local community.

There were a couple challenges that Sarah had to overcome when forming Girl Up at school. The club’s inception didn’t attract much interest from the student body; many didn’t want to become involved because they were not informed about the issues that Girl Up was advocating. But Sarah was passionate about the work that her club was trying to do and advocating for; undeterred, she pushed herself to create the club and promote it anyway despite its initial small following. Passion and perseverance are vital qualities for a student leader; Sarah embodied these qualities as she built her school’s chapter of Girl Up from the ground. Another leadership quality that Sarah possesses and thinks all leaders, young or old, should have is the ability to communicate. Communication is crucial to creating real relationships between people. In Sarah’s words, “The ability to communicate leads to meaningful connections that stem from joint passions” and a shared interest in tackling a particular root cause. A leader’s ability to connect with other leaders and followers alike is invaluable.

A moment of leadership that Sarah was proud of occurred when Sarah was given the opportunity to meet and introduce Melinda Gates at the Social Good Summit in her senior year of high school. She was able to listen to and partake in discussions about the Sustainable Development Goals, with leaders from all over the globe. With a large focus placed on women’s rights, this event fueled the cause Girl Up was tied to.  

After completing high school and matriculating to Brandeis University, Sarah continued to exercise her leadership skills and maintained her relationship with Girl Up. At college, she became the President and Co-Founder of Brandeis’ chapter of Girl Up. Determined to further the goals and mission of the club, Sarah took the initiative to further develop her own leadership skills in accordance. When the opportunity to attend the 2016 Millennium Campus Conference (MCC16) in Washington D.C. came, she jumped on it. On board with MCN’s mission of creating ethical, effective, and engaged leaders, as well as empowered by the speakers & peers she met at the conference, Sarah wanted to be even more involved with MCN. This past spring, she applied for and participated in MCN’s fellowship program. As a fellow, she worked with likeminded peers, networked, and learned invaluable leadership skills through workshops. She said, “It was wonderful to have a platform to talk to empowering leaders in a plethora of fields.” The fellowship was all-around a success. Sarah’s excited to apply what she’s learned at MCN to Brandeis’ Girl Up and all of her future endeavors.

Catherine Lok

2014 & 2015 MCN Conference | Undergraduate University: Miami University, BA

My MCN story:

"I attended the Millennium Campus Conference in 2014 and then I was a discussion leader at the Conference in 2015 at the UN- I loved both experiences.

I loved that everybody wanted to change the world, but that they were "soft" about it. In other words, student leaders at the conferences didn’t just want the title of being a change-maker, they wanted to actually effect ethical and effective change in the communities that they were helping. Student leaders got to know the communities that they were helping via thoughtful and intentional means instead of just "throwing money" at them to "solve a problem."

Another fond memory that I have of the conferences is meeting Dr. Yacoobi, the CEO of the Afghan Institute of Learning. She comes to the conference every year and she was always fascinating to listen to. Everyone was telling me that the things I wanted to do were too dangerous, but the stories that Dr. Yacoobi told really put things into perspective for me. She would tell stories about how the Taliban would come in and she and others would have to pretend that they were reading the Quran while in reality they were teaching science. If they had gotten caught not actually reading the Quran, they could've been in serious jeopardy. But she believed in what she was doing, so she risked her life to do it. Her stories made me feel like it’s actually okay to do work that is considered dangerous, just as long as you truly believe it's meaningful and worth doing."

Today:

"I am currently in medical school. I chose this path because I see a lot of damage that the medical system has done and I want to change that. My philosophy has always been to be 'inside of a building when making change instead of being outside of it and just throwing rocks at the window.' By going to medical school, I chose to be "inside the building." My hope is that through navigating the medical system, I'll better understand it over time and gain the knowledge and credibility to figure out how to change it. Doctors have a lot of power and responsibility, and I want to use my title as a doctor to make impactful, positive change."

Triaging for the traveling clinic

Triaging for the traveling clinic

First Experience with Social Impact:

"My first really huge social impact experience was when I did a medical mission -a medical service trip- to the Solomon Islands. I went with a bunch of doctors and our mission was to serve people in the community. I learned a lot on that trip via mistakes. For instance, I checked people's blood pressure despite not having had the proper medical training. I realized later on that what I did was not ethical, as a nurse without training in the U.S. would not have been able to take someone's blood pressure; if that was the case in the U.S., then that sort of medical procedure should not have been done in the Solomon Islands by me.

Another mistake I made was when I went to the local market and tried to find the best price for a herb via taking notes on each seller and price. I did this so that I could relay the information to other sellers and gauge the best (lowest) price for myself- I didn't want to be taken advantage of. But in doing so I was potentially pitting locals against each other, which was disrespectful and could've been really disruptive to the community.

In the end, what I learned on the trip was a matter of ethics. Just because you are serving someone in the third world doesn’t mean that you can give them a lower standard of care and/or ignore & dismiss their cultural practices. Often times, people do this without meaning to. But MCN has taught me the importance of being ethical when doing all types of social impact work; they've taught me how to avoid being paternalistic."

Peace Program:

"A program that I've started is called the Peace Program. It operates in a place akin to a juvenile justice center, but it's really just a home for kids that have been abused, don’t have anywhere to go, or have been taken in by the State and placed there. I began volunteering there and was tutoring the kids when I soon realized that they didn't need tutoring in math more than they needed peace of mind, peace that they would be safe, peace that they would be loved, peace that they would go to bed and not feel scared. That’s what they really needed. So I started the Peace Program as a result. The program uses evidence-based mindfulness practices that help their day to day mindset. We do yoga, mindfulness & meditation, and more.

I really care about this program and am currently looking to expand it. I think it can become a big thing and would love it if more people joined in on our mission. The program presents a huge opportunity for people to make a difference in a child's life."


*The "quotes" above have been edited for clarity and concison. 

Oumaima Bougazzoul

2014 MCN Conference Delegate | Undergraduate University: Northeastern University | Place of Origin: North Africa

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My MCN Story:

"I attended the Millennium Campus Conference (MCC) at Northeastern University in 2013. As a freshman at the time who just moved across the Atlantic to start her university career, I was not really sure what I exactly wanted to study or how to formulate what I wanted to do with my time in school. I knew that I was interested in science, medicine and community service; but I didn't really know how I could link all those passions together. In addition, I still wasn't entirely sure that’s what I wanted to do.

Most of the workshops I took part in at the conference were related to public health issues. They not only sparked my interest in a new field but also provided a potential bridge to connect all the dots. By the end of the conference, I learned about and was exposed to different healthcare issues in different parts of the world. I explored how different people go about solving these medical and public health issues in various ways: campaigns, social enterprises, etc. I started having a better idea of the type of work that is ongoing in the fields and thinking about how it would relate to my own experiences, vision and career goals. Attending the MCC along with starting my curriculum as an undeclared student opened my eyes to the idea of interdisciplinary learning. I realized that I did not have to focus on one single field if I what I enjoyed more was the intersection of all my academic and professional interests. Studying medicine and being an active member in the community through socio-medical projects became my ultimate goal. Having that kind of vision not only made it easier for me to choose my major in college, but also pushed me to seek experiences that were interdisciplinary by nature and that allowed me to integrate both science and service in my work."

Today:

"I have just graduated from Northeastern University in Boston with a Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Neuroscience. I will soon be joining a research team at Pfizer to take part in behavioral pharmacology research on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. My experience at Pfizer will be an exciting combination of the laboratory and clinical aspect of research and a valuable addition to my past experiences. As a pre-med student, I have completed a hands-on internship on brain tumor-related academic research, as well as clinical experience working as a physical therapist aide. Experiencing the field of the pharmaceutical industry will also help me further explore my interests in research while also nurturing my passion for science, medicine and service. To me, it is important to keep in mind that the end goal of all this research is to serve our communities and to advance human health. With personal and family-related motivators also present, I aspire to become a doctor and contribute to ongoing research especially in fields related to neurological disorders."


*The "quotes" above have been edited for clarity and concision.

Lauren Slater Siegmund

2008 MCN Conference | Undergraduate University: Boston University

My MCN Story:

"I was involved with MCN in its first years as a student leader of the UNICEF Campus Initiative at Boston University (BU). Following my student leadership, when I joined the staff of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF on the Community Partnerships team, I helped establish a formal relationship between MCN and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, so that these two likeminded organizations could work together to empower college students to make a positive change on our world."

Effective Student Leadership:

"As a student leader, I was most effective when working on the MLK, Jr. Peace Concert that united 80+ different student organizations on my undergraduate campus for a college-wide collaborative event. The key to success was in our process: we started with a rough idea—the idea of uniting the campus with a mission of doing good. We then sought out the input and participation of clubs and groups across campus, listening to their ideas and input for our event. We then co-created the event, from start to finish, making this program one of the largest campus-wide collaborations Boston University had ever seen. In doing so, we brought great music, a positive message, and the combined fundraising efforts of thousands of students together for one night of peace and unity."

Out of My Comfort Zone:

"The hardest thing I had to do as a student leader was develop the confidence to talk to the powers that be – the movers and shakers in BU's administration. Getting up the confidence to meet with the Dean of Students and other influencers within BU’s campus was extremely difficult, but the pay-off was well worth it. In developing strong relationships with the administration, I not only was able to achieve more on campus as a student leader, but I also gained new mentors and developed long relationships that still positively impact me to this day."

Today:

"I am the Manager of Knowledge and Impact on the Participant and Alumni Impact team at Teach For All, a global network that is developing collective leadership to ensure all children can fulfill their potential. I am in this work because of a deep-seeded belief in the power of education to be transformative. I previously worked at the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, taught English abroad in Nicaragua, and taught in inner-city schools in New York for several years. Along the way, wherever I was or wherever my organization worked, I saw the extraordinary power that an excellent education can have on a child—and community’s—future."


*The "quotes" above have been edited for clarity and concision.

Nhi Tong

2015-2016 MCN Fellow | Undergraduate University: St. John's University | Place of Origin: Vietnam

 
 

My MCN Story:

"I knew about MCN through a friend that interned at the organization two summers ago. She invited me to be a part of the Millennium Campus Network in 2015. I remembered feeling overwhelmed because I had never met so many young, inspiring, and passionate people in my life. I also marveled at how such a small team at MCN could organize events on a global scale and connect young leaders all around the world. It was admirable.

After the conference, I continued getting involved with the fellowship as I started my journey as a student leader on campus. It was an opportunity that I was very lucky to have and I appreciate all the work that MCN has put into growing the next generation of leaders.

Recently, I had the opportunity to intern with UNICEF USA and BRAC. MCN is closely related to my experiences with both of the organizations. The Millennium Campus Fellowship and MCN's New York City Hub Site Director Natalie Tevethia, our amazing facilitator and mentor, helped our team a lot with knowledge resources and skill training when we were still building the UNICEF club in school. I also got to know BRAC, an incredible development organization, through a networking event hosted by MCN. I am very thankful for MCN. Without it, I would never be where I am right now."

Student Leadership:

"Last school year, being the President of the UNICEF club on my campus taught me immensely about being a leader. It was difficult managing time between classes, extracurricular activities and internships, but I learned so much about myself. I realized that I was the most effective leader when I worked under pressure for a meaningful cause that I cared about, with other people. As a club, we ran a lot of fundraising events for UNICEF USA; and looking back, none of those fundraising events would've been possible without teamwork. In addition, it was such a joy to provide my team members with resources and training so that they could become confident in spearheading their own projects.

My work for UNICEF was very important to me. I pushed myself to work hard under many situations because I knew the work that we did as a club would help UNICEF run its life-saving programs for children around the world. I felt personally connected with my work and this passion drove me to be ambitious, curious, and hard-working."

Today:

"I am presently a rising senior at St. John's University majoring in Communication Arts. Before becoming a part of the Millennium Campus Fellowship in 2015, I wasn't sure what I would like to do, career-wise, with my focus of study in Communication. The eight-month MCN fellowship helped me realize how much I was curious and passionate about global development. The discussions and training also inspired me to reflect more on my role as a young person in the global development world. I thought a lot about what I could do, what I should study and focus on, what my values were, how I should connect with other young people, and how I could build myself as an individual contributing to sustainable change. After taking some international communication classes, as a part of my major, I knew what I wanted- I wanted to approach global development through communications. I'm testing the waters right now and am currently navigating through different internship experiences to see what works and what doesn't work for me. It's all very exciting!"


*The "quotes" above have been edited for clarity and concision.

Lauren Greubel

2009 MCN Conference | Undergraduate University: University of Chicago, BA

My MCN Story:

"I was involved in setting up the MCN chapter at the University of Chicago many moons ago. I had interned with an organization working on the Millennium Development Goals but realized many of my classmates were not aware of them. Setting up MCN was a way to meet other students passionate about international development and to share more about the MDGs (now the Sustainable Development Goals) with a broader group."

Being a Student Leader:

"One of the common mistakes I made, and I think many leaders make, is to not reach out to other groups to work together. We can't assume everyone cares about the issues we care about by default, instead we need to understand better what issues our peers care about and then make the connections with our own work - so there is a mutual interest. It is great practice in communications, articulation of ideas and problem solving - all of which you use daily in your career after school."

Today:

"I work on education policy for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The international education field is an important and innovative one because there are links to every other sector. Education impacts health outcomes, economic growth outcomes, security outcomes, democracy outcomes, etc. In education you are not only making a difference in a child's life, but that of their whole family and community."

John Abdulla

2008 MCN Conference | Undergraduate University: Curry College

My MCN Story:

"As the leader of the ONE Chapter on my undergraduate campus, I discovered MCN and the first Millennium Campus Conference, hosted at MIT. It felt incredible to connect with students around the country who were similarly passionate about ending poverty and who faced the same challenges of engaging a campus of students. And I remember being so impressed by the line-up of speakers, including Paul Farmer and Jeffrey Sachs. I became a quick fan of MCN’s work and connected more with the leadership, soon thereafter joining as a director. My work with MCN helped connect me with more of the student activism that fueled my remaining time in college, giving so much more meaning to my education. I was pretty sure I knew this was going to be a career path for me.

Days before I graduated college, however, I was diagnosed with testicular cancer. It was during this perspective-shifting time that I think my path towards doing work to benefit others became clearest. The idea that I could be cured of cancer but at the same time, in the same world, a child could die for lack of a simple malaria pill, for example, was--and remains--insane to me. And so once I finished treatment, I looked for a job in the international development field."

Student Leadership:

"My time as a student leader was filled with mistakes and fails. I remember several events we planned where we were lucky to get even some of our friends on campus to attend. It was difficult to engage an audience of young people who were already deeply engaged in education and college life. We stuck to it, however, and planned some wildly successful events including a talent benefit show on campus. That persistence, even in the face of some fails, was critical. I think another lesson in that, however, is to stop chasing the idea that you will engage a mass audience and instead focus on the deep connection with each and every person--even if they are fewer. In my years as a student leader and professional in the nonprofit space, I have been fortunate to meet many passionate individuals who have accomplished way more than you’d think one person could ever accomplish. They each have stories where they caught the activism bug. It can’t be forced, but once you catch it, it doesn’t go away!"

Today:

"As Web Manager at Oxfam, I oversee our web strategy and manage a team that develops and maintains web properties to engage and activate the U.S. to end the injustice of poverty. I studied communication at Curry College and through my experiences developed a specific interest in global poverty. The more I came to understand the issue, the more compelled I felt to do something about it, until finally I started a chapter of the ONE Campaign with fellow students, including Peter Nhiany, who was a “Lost Boy” of Sudan. His story rallied us to raise funds to build a well in his village. And that work gave focus to my interest in communication--I knew I wanted to apply my skills with digital media in particular, to spread awareness and activate people in the same way that I was activated."


*The "quotes" above were edited for concision and clarity.

Jhoselyn Escobar

2015 MCN Conference Delegate | Undergraduate University: St. John's University, BA

"I am incredibly lucky! Presently, I am advocating for quality education for minorities. I am working in a non-profit called Oliver Scholars Program. At Oliver, we work hard to prepare high-achieving Black and Latino students from underserved New York City communities for success at top independent schools and prestigious colleges. The aim is to provide the students support so that they can achieve their fullest potential and, ultimately, give back to the city, the nation, and the world.

When I graduated from college, I knew I wanted to be involved in the education field. I am so glad that Oliver is leading by example and showing me the ropes in navigating this field.

Education was the best gift my parents gave me; without it, I wouldn't be able to be the person I have become. I am the first person in my family to graduate from college and to receive an education abroad. I have seen how education not only empowered me but also my family and friends. My life mission is to empower as many people as I can through education.

2015 was the year that I became involved with the MCN family. I attended MCN's annual conference, which happened to be at the United Nations that year, and was truly inspired- the conference changed my perspective in life.  

At the 2015 Millennium Campus Conference (MCC 15), I felt at home surrounded by all these amazing change makers who truly cared about our world. I looked up to every single person I had the pleasure to meet. I felt motivated and inspired to do much more than what I was already doing.

I said to myself that, I need to work on something that truly makes change. Two years later, my vision that was first born at the conference is becoming a reality. I am working on a docu-series that will showcase South America and all its beauty, people, and the problems that it is facing now along with the organizations that are working hard to address these issues. My objective is for people to watch the docu-series and become more aware of what's happening in this region and get involved in any way they can.

I hope to finish my docu-series in November 2017 and attend MCC 17!"


*The "quotes" above have been edited for clarity and concision.

Jessica Russo

2016 MCN Campaigns | Undergraduate University: College of the Holy Cross | Place of Origin: Staten Island, New York City

Jessica at the United Nations

Jessica at the United Nations

"I am a junior at the College of the Holy Cross and pursuing a Political Science degree with a double concentration in Peace and Conflict Studies and Latino and Latin American Studies.

After graduating I plan to go to law school in order to receive my J.D. degree and my LLM. Ever since I was little, I was always passionate about advocating for those who didn’t believe they had a voice or were wrongly accused. This passion began to grow when I went to high school where I was part of the Mock Trial team, the Congressional Debate team, and a member of many community service organizations. Now, as a junior in college, I continue to fuel my desire of advocating for others through my position on the Judicial Council of the Student Government Association at Holy Cross and through Silence to Sound, a campaign designed to help those who have been sexually assaulted in college.

I always knew I wanted to make an impact on the world whether it was in my own community, on my school campus, or on a larger scale. When I was a freshman in college, I found out a friend of mine was sexually assaulted and that story has forever impacted my life. After listening to the story, I wanted to do something that would bring awareness about the issue of sexual assault on college campuses so that no one will ever have to experience what my friend and so many others had to endure. That was when I received an email regarding the Millennium Campus Network and its MCC16 conference in Washington, D.C. I saw that they were offering young individuals the opportunity to launch their own campaign, and I realized that would be a wonderful opportunity to make the idea of starting a project to help spread awareness of sexual assault on college campuses a reality. Since the inception of Silence to Sound in August of 2016, my executive team and I have created a website featuring school specific resources for sexual assault survivors in our database and have attended the Higher Education Institutions - Key Drivers of the Sustainable Development Goals event for the discussion of the United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda of 2030 at the United Nations Building in New York City this July. My team and I continue to promote the discussion of the prevalence of sexual assault on college campuses and ensure gender equity.

To conclude, one characteristic that all young student leaders should have is perseverance. Whether you are advocating for a particular cause on behalf of others or you are starting your own organization to help make a positive impact in the world, there will be obstacles that you will face in trying to achieve your goal. It is what you do with those obstacles that will influence your success and measure of effectiveness. It is easy to simply give up when your ideas do not achieve the desired result. A student leader with perseverance does not see these obstacles as an unconquerable challenge but rather a crucial learning experience where he or she will try to find out what helps to competently promote their vision and what does not."


*The "quotes" above have been edited for concison and clarity.

Ghewa Srour

2015 MCN Campaigns | Undergraduate University: Lebanese University | Place of Origin: Lebanon

My MCN Story:

"In 2013, I got abused and divorced at the age of 21. For a Middle-Eastern girl, divorce is so hard for her and her family. But, I decided to be strong and changed my life for the better despite knowing the odd. Also, I wanted to inspire other women to be strong, refuse abuse, and raise their voice as well. Following my own advice, I began to rebuild my life.

My journey started in Morocco when I attended the “First Alumni Enrichment Seminar” in the Middle East by the U.S. Department of State. There I met Executive Director of the Millennium Campus Network (MCN) Sam Vaghar, who shared his story and told us about the mission of MCN. Intrigued by what he said, I applied and attended the Millennium Campus Conference in 2015 (MCC 2015) at the United Nations Headquarters in New York; and also attended MCC 2016 at Howard University in Washington D.C.

My time with MCN increased my desire to connect with and help other people who are in difficult positions and want to live a better life."

What I Care About:

"After getting married, I joined my husband in Sao Paulo, Brazil. From the very first days of my arrival, I noticed that most kids did not go to school -and even if they did, they attended poor public schools- because of the high expenses of private schools.

I wanted to continue practicing Portuguese while I was Brazil, as I was not yet fluent; and as a result I started to have conversations with kids and teenagers in the local community. I asked them what were the main causes for them to not attend school; and sometimes I even talked to their parents about this when they joined their children in selling goods on the streets. The responses I got made me want to start my own project to help uneducated children get a chance to go to school and receive an education.

I plan to do more research for my project. In addition, I want to identify an organization that is focused on the same goals as me so that I can partner with them and work with them to help underprivileged kids get an education and figure out their own dreams."

Student Leadership:

"The ability to listen and remain calm are two of the most important qualities when it comes to student leadership. In order to understand others’ points of views and the causes & circumstances that led them to behave and/or think in a certain, a leader must master the ability to listen to others' opinions without jumping to conclusions. When I was the president of the Access Alumni Association in Lebanon, I had to keep everything under control so that all events and activities were executed smoothly and successfully.

I remember when I had to organize a field day event for more than 800 students with more than 20 teachers, 200 volunteers and around 20 members from AMIDEAST and the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, and although more than 8 years have passed, I still remember that day very clearly. In the early hours of the morning, while I was delegating tasks to volunteers, one of my volunteers became angry when he found out that he was leading an activity that he didn’t want. He was very upset and began shouting. I took him aside and talked to him to figure out what made him so upset. When he explained why, I politely asked him to calm down and promised that we would find a solution to the issue. After some discussion with the other volunteers, we were able to find someone to switch with him and the issue was remedied. If I, as a leader, had not been composed in that situation and was just simply upset at his insubordination, the situation could've gone a whole different way and nothing would have been solved. That's why I always remember to this day that composure and patience is so important in a leader when handling any sort of conflict."


*The "quotes" above have been edited for concision and clarity.

John Kotey

2015-2016 MCN Fellow | Undergraduate University: Columbia University in the City of New York | Degree: Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering | Place of Origin: Ghana

John graduates from Columbia University

John graduates from Columbia University

"The Millennium Campus Network’s annual conference in 2015 (MCC15) at the United Nations was a major turning point in my life. Before the conference, I was contemplating on what to do after finishing undergrad at Columbia and felt pressure to join Corporate America from family, friends, and mentors. The expectation to simply get a job that "paid the bills" rather than pursuing social impact work was overwhelming. On top of that, I was frustrated with how higher education seemed to boast about being the training ground for the next generation of change makers while also not providing the necessary support and resources for students to radically alter society’s status quo. All of this made me seriously reconsider my original "social impact" path. But MCC15 changed that; it renewed my faith in social change work and put me right back on track.

Initially, my perception of the UN was that it was “all talk with little action.” I was skeptical of attending MCC15 solely because of this assumption. But the energy and enthusiasm of fellow delegates at the conference on ensuring that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were fully realized by 2030 reassured me that I was, in fact, in the right place. During the conference, I got the chance to learn about grassroots student movements focused on non-paternalistic and community-based global development, which informed and reinvigorated my dream of using technology as a way to address basic human rights and needs. With a new sense of purpose, I went back to Columbia and convinced the First-Generation Low-Income Partnership to apply for the Millennium Fellowship; the National First-Generation, Low-Income Partnership was born in those transformational eight months during the fellowship.

GEN Day 2017 at Columbia University was hosted by John's organization Columbia First-Generation Low-Income Partnership (FLIP)

GEN Day 2017 at Columbia University was hosted by John's organization Columbia First-Generation Low-Income Partnership (FLIP)

Created with other Millennium fellows, the National First-Generation, Low-Income Partnership (FLIP National) is a non-profit organization that focuses on providing equal opportunity for first-generation and/or low-income (FGLI) students in institutions of higher learning. FLIP National aims to establish campus-based chapters and promote collaboration among institutions in addressing issues that first-generation and low-income students face. FLIP National has earmarked seven “Target Areas,” namely Food Insecurity, Student Homelessness, Academic Development, Student Wellness & Community Building, Financial Support, Professional Development, and Awareness & Visibility. The goal is to raise awareness about the issues that hamper the academic success and well-being of FGLI students while pursuing sustainable solutions through the establishment of initiatives and policy change at the institutional, national, and international level.

FLIP National currently has four chapters: Columbia University, Emory University, Lehigh University, and the University of Pennsylvania. There are many more chapters in the works. Through its participation in the Millennium Fellowship, FLIP National has gained significant insight into professional non-profit management, which include, but are not limited to, SMART planning and key performance indicators (KPI). Sustainable growth at FLIP National has been possible because of these very insights. So far, the organization’s initiatives at the national and chapter levels have been extremely successful. The tangible successes of FLIP National include the fact that CU’s Book Lending library has over 2,500 textbooks in circulation, CU Meal Share has facilitated the exchange of over 1,000 meals swipes, and Microgrants has awarded over $5,000 in emergency grants to students in need.

I cherish MCN’s commitment to addressing tough issues that many people in international development face and/or have avoided. Issues such as "voluntourism,” donor demands versus commitment to impactful change, and communities not achieving self-sustainability after a significant period of time can only be solved through addressing them and taking subsequent action. My participation in MCN’s fellowship program has given me life-long friends that are also committed to creating real, demonstrable, and sustainable change through their own respective kind of leadership. MCC15’s hash tag #sidekicksUNite made me realize that it’s perfectly okay to play a "supporting role" rather than being 'the hero'; it’s actually better to be the former. Leaders are actually more effectual when they occupy more of a supporting role in the community and organization that they’re trying to aid. It's not about me, it's about them.

I want young leaders to know that NOW is the time to ask tough questions about the systems that exist around us, about access to food, healthcare, affordable education, equality, and etc. This is the time to check your own privilege and assess how much you've been given so that you can 'pay it forward' the same amount, or more. 'Privilege is not absolute, but relative.' Hence, you do not need to be the richest, most powerful, or possess the highest academic degree to spearhead the change you wish to see. Be proactive and seek to make a difference in any degree; that's the first step in becoming a true change maker."


*The "quotes" above have been edited for concision and clarity.

Toby Norman

MCN Conference Delegate | Undergraduate University: Harvard University, BA CEO of Simprints

"There are two reasons why I have committed my life to social impact work.

The first is the random lottery of birth. I had access to incredible privilege and opportunity purely by chance. Had I been born in a different part of the world to different circumstances, my access to health, education, work, and security right now would be fundamentally different. That’s the inequality and injustice that social impact careers can fight.

The second reason is the people. Social impact work is hard. You often face huge obstacles with limited resources, and there are plenty of days where the frustration seems overwhelming. But I’m incredibly lucky to work with an amazing group of people. They are what keep me going and the reason I come to work every morning. In the uncertain early days when I was deciding between job offers at McKinsey & BCG versus continuing with this absurd start-up idea, it was thinking about my team that made that decision for me.

At Simprints, the nonprofit tech company I started, we partner with leading nonprofits and governments to make sure their work is truly reaching the poorest of the poor. We leverage technology to help us do that, specifically using biometrics coupled with mobile health, education, or aid platforms. Our work means that a health worker in the poorest slum in Bangladesh can access a child’s vaccine records at the touch of a fingertip or an aid worker can prove that emergency relief is reaching real beneficiaries. For example, our projects with BRAC in Bangladesh are [currently connecting] 22,000 mothers and kids with better health services and improving health surveillance for 50,000 patients with Possible and the Ministry of Health in Nepal. Simprints has been recognized by UNICEF + TechCrunch’s “Best Tech: Changing Children’s Lives for Good Award” and covered in BloombergThe EconomistThe Wall Street Journal, and the World Economic Forum. Our goal over the next five years is to radically disrupt the inaccurate way we currently track and deliver progress towards the SDGs and, instead, build a world where every person—not guesswork—actually counts in the fight against poverty.

While studying biology and anthropology as an undergrad was useful, the real value of my time at Harvard was what I did outside of the classroom; working with MCN was a huge part of that journey. I learned about the key challenges in global health & development, met students who shared my passion, and got inspired by leading thinkers in this field. Starting a student group that eventually became part of the MCN community also taught be a huge amount about leadership, a set of skills I use every day now as the CEO of a tech company.

Through MCN, I learned the power of strategic networking [and recognized] that organizations can share resources and skills to maximize their respective social impact. I’d strongly encourage students thinking about a career in this space to get engaged and leverage what [he or she] learns through conversations, talks, and conferences to actually take action. If you choose to work in the social impact sector, you’ll likely screw up frequently—I did, and still do—but you’ll also start learning the problem solving skills needed to take on these global challenges."


Toby is the CEO of Simprints, a nonprofit tech startup that develops hardware and open-source software in order to integrate safe, simple identification into existing mobile tools in developing countries. He was recently named a 2017 Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year; and in 2016, he was listed among the Forbes Europe 30 under 30 Social Entrepreneurs.


*The "quotes" above have been edited for concision and clarity.

Valeria Al-Khatib

2016-2017 MCN Fellow | Undergraduate University: Regis College | Studies: Political Science and Communications | Place of Origin: Puerto Rico

"I always knew I had a passion for social impact and advocacy, but I never knew just how strong these goals were- until now. Since I began college I engaged on a wide variety of campus activities that ultimately strengthened my goals to work for social impact. Not too long after this realization, I found an opportunity to begin my work through Amnesty International.

I started a chapter of Amnesty at my university in hopes to get other students who were passionate about social impact, like me, interested in human rights advocacy.

As an Amnesty chapter, our main concern is to protect human rights to the best of our ability whether that be abroad or at home. In our chapter we have focused a lot on the rights of refugees and undocumented immigrants since it has been a contested and relevant topic in the past several months. Our primary objective is to educate our community so that we can all work together to protect the rights of those who are in need of protection and a voice.

Ultimately, my goal is to pursue a career where I can advocate for those that need it most. It is my hope to gain the necessary knowledge, education, and means to serve as a defender of human rights and moral legislation. I plan to attend law school and build on the skills that I learned as an MCN Fellow to accomplish my aforementioned goals. MCN has been integral to my personal and professional growth. I'll always be grateful for MCN as it has allowed me to grow my network connections and gain applicable skills for the nonprofit world; it's opened my eyes to the many ways that one can become involved in social impact."


*The "quotes" above have been edited for concision and clarity.

Martine Domond

2016-2017 MCN Fellow | Undergraduate University: Miami Dade College North | Studies: Biology and Public Policy

"My current project is called HealthnetworRx; it's an online health/research community and database that connects health professionals from all over the globe. It's objective: to streamline distribution & reporting and improve the efficiency and reach of messages.

My hope for this website is that it becomes the main medium for health professionals to communicate as well as for the public to receive vital healthcare regulations and relevant information from all over the globe. If the project is successful, it should bridge the divide between clinical practice and international policy. In addition, the website will have a home page which contains updated news on international epidemics and outbreaks (such as the Zika virus or Ebola). Most importantly, it will contain communication options such as chatting, messaging, or video chatting/conferencing. HealthnetworRx will be optimized for low bandwidth Internet connections and operate on lower end computers and tablets, which will eventually become accessible on smartphones.

I am a firm believer that private entrepreneurs can do more public good when they team up with government. I hope and am actively working on establishing partnership with government agencies such as UNICEF, WHO, and the CDC in order to build a better form of public health surveillance. With some form of a grant, I will be able to establish an infrastructure for public health prevention, which offers tested, cost-effective ways to protect the public so as to not always play catch-up after an epidemic has already gained momentum.

Martine and her "fellow" 2017 Miami Fellows

Martine and her "fellow" 2017 Miami Fellows

To be quite honest, I didn't expect to gain a lot from my time at MCN; I though that since I was trying to build a social enterprise instead of representing student organizations like others, I would not be able to relate and take much away from the program. But instead, participating in the program, attending the weekly meetings, and connecting with likeminded individuals has been extremely beneficial. It was so much more than I thought it would be, and I am very thankful.

There were several speakers during my fellowship at MCN that impacted me deeply and shared some lessons that left a lasting impression on me. They are:

  • Yeni SimonOUT Miami: 1 hour of volunteering is equivalent to $23 of work in the non-profit sector
  • Victoria FearThe Miami Foundation: "The pitch is dead, long live the conversation."
  • Dr. Michael LenaghanMiami Dade College: "Do you want to be important or do you want to be influential?" & "Most governments were founded for the happiness of the people."
  • And of course our amazing hub-site director Liz Rebecca Alarcon, I truly do not have enough space in this blog post to express the immeasurable wisdom and insight that she has shared with us all.

Since the creation of my project through Clinton Global Initiative University, I have scoured the Internet to find resources to assist in not only networking, but also mentorship, guidance, and growth. With that being said, MCN was the perfect next step in my project development. I was able to connect with so many individuals, especially those in the entrepreneurial and social impact world, many of whom I would've never otherwise met. I was able to have reflections, enlightening discussions, as well as implement design-thinking and inclusiveness in my daily life.

There is an African proverb that says, “If you want to travel fast, go alone. If you want to travel far, go together.” No matter how self-sufficient we all believe ourselves to be, the truth is we all need a support system, especially when pursuing a dream, purpose, vision, or calling in life. My growing desire to become a change-maker is making me realize the importance of this proverb more than ever. MCN embraces and encourages "traveling with companions" as people journey towards their respective goals; only when we work together can we truly reach our fullest potential and go farther in life."


*The "quotes" above have been edited for concision and clarity.

Kayla O'Neill

2015 MCN Intern | Undergraduate University: Northeastern University, BA | Degree: Business Administration and International Affairs

"I was lucky that the Millennium Conference I attended was hosted at my own university, so I signed up as a volunteer photographer for one of the plenary sessions. A man who was introduced to us as Jeffrey Sachs of the Earth Institute took the stage, and I remembered thinking, “Who is this guy?” while snapping away with my camera. I learned a great deal from that talk and from experiences like it since.

In the spring of 2015, I was privileged to work for Millennium Campus Network as a Marketing Associate Intern. Since then I have kept busy finishing my undergraduate degree in Business Administration and International Affairs at Northeastern University. I've also completed two co-ops- Amazon Web Services and TripAdvisor Charitable Foundation. I did these co-ops while staying involved in social change initiatives as a leader for student organizations.

Working at MCN gave me insightful event execution experience and an opportunity to build my design portfolio. I had the chance to sit in on the sessions with MCN Fellows, and I benefited from learning about how their student organizations were run and what challenges they were facing. My time with MCN also showed me the importance of networking and making time for face-to-face meetings with the people you’d like to learn from.

In the two years since my work with MCN, I have been a leader for several social change movements at my university. I developed a voter registration marketing campaign with a team from Northeastern University Marketing Association, and we saw a 34 percent increase in the number of students who registered to vote as compared to the previous presidential election in 2012. I also became a leader for Northeastern’s Social Enterprise Institute Student Association, where I promoted social business and scalable solutions to global poverty. While I knew I wanted a career with social impact, I steered away from the nonprofit sector for a bit to gain valuable business experience, which I hoped to apply to my work to benefit social causes. I found that tech companies were certainly open to making an impact, and they could, in fact, be leaders in speaking out about important causes.

While working at Amazon Web Services as an Event Marketing Co-op, I had the opportunity to develop projects that addressed event sustainability and gender diversity. The concept known as “intrapreneurship,” or taking risks in new projects within an established company, has been a driver of innovation and social change at companies from Amazon to Zappos. I felt privileged to share new approaches and ways of thinking with my team within a global company with the resources to make significant change.

My role as a Co-op at TripAdvisor Charitable Foundation was a dream come true; in part because for the first time, I got the chance to dive deeply into a single cause issue. The company had recently pledged $5 million over the next three years to address the global refugee crisis, and I was heavily involved in researching potential funding areas such as refugee resettlement. I also got to help organize a donation drive, fundraiser, volunteer activities, and educational events with speakers from nonprofits like the International Rescue Committee, RefugePoint, and International Institute of New England. I was exposed to the world of corporate philanthropy and it opened my eyes to the potential for so many other companies to get on board and give back.

I discovered through work in issues areas like refugees, environmental conservation, and educational nonprofits that I care deeply about many things. Working at MCN showed me that what I am most interested in is the infrastructure that enables social change and connects change makers with resources. For that reason, I am starting my career as a Business Development Fellow at GlobalGiving in Washington, D.C., where I will support the efforts of companies to give back effectively through their international development efforts.

My advice to MCN Fellows and Delegates is to keep your eyes and ears out for opportunities to connect with organizations and individuals. Being part of a global network like MCN is a great first step, but there are likely local communities that can add their support. Read all you can and listen to the experts, but also do not be afraid to learn by doing, even if it means you might fail!"


*The "quotes" above have been edited for concision and clarity.