Social Action Projects 2010-2015

 

Sarah Batchu

Run Like Us

Partnered with New York City Council Members Helen Rosenthal, Debi Rose, Karen Koslowitz and Elizabeth Crowley; State Senator Liz Krueger; Manhattan Community Board 7 Chair Elizabeth Caputo; Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer.

Our mission is to increase the number of young women considering a future run for public office by connecting them with women who already hold these positions in government.

I successfully completed the first two phases of my project, project design (defining my organization and its mission, and connecting with the program partners, seven female elected officials) and implementation (conveying the platform’s value to the target audience). I hope to carry out the third phase of my project, evaluation, in September, after all five students in the first cohort have completed their internship and shadowing opportunities.

 

Nicole Becker
Entrepreneurship Workshop Series

Partnered with Upper West Side YMCA

The Entrepreneurship Workshop series aims to teach young students about the process of creating their own business. This is a workshop offered at the Upper West Side YMCA, which is open to both middle school students and high school students. By teaching the students about what goes into creating a start-up, I aim to make the idea of starting your own company a little less daunting. The goal of the program is to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs, and teach them how to turn their business dreams into realities.

By the end of the workshop series, students will have learned about the process of creating a business and have a better understanding of what it really means to be an entrepreneur. Students will have had a hands-on experience in going through the process of pitching your own business idea with their final projects, and get practice in their presentation skills. The Entrepreneurship Workshop Series will give students confidence to know that it is possible for them to be their own boss and create their own business.

 

Cristina De La Rosa
EmpowerFirst.org

Partnered with Community Impact at Columbia University; the Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP) at Barnard College, and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund Chapter at Columbia University.

EmpowerFirst.org is a combination of mentorship, video blogs, and education, EmpowerFirst combines these three factors to support self-identified first-generation students as they transition from high school to college. By empowering first-generation students, EmpowerFirst will strengthen their confidence in themselves and their promising future.

Between the time I launched the website and the end of the semester, I presented empowerfirst.org to a total of 37 students. Not only did I present the organization but I also had a chance to engage with the students in person. I had the opportunity to answer their questions about college and in some cases, ease their worries and doubts about the next big step. Since the creation of the website, empowerfirst.org has had a total of 832 views; the audience size is 131 people.

 

Anna Dydzuhn
Protecting Unpaid Interns from Sexual Harassment

Partnered with Christina Isnardi; The American Association of University Women; Barnard College, & Congresswoman Clarke’s office

Currently four states protect unpaid interns from sexual harassment and other discriminations. InternChange.com seeks to provide students and community leaders with the resources to advocate for legal protections for interns in their state. Ultimately, InternChange.com along with other efforts seek to provoke more thought and conversation about the existing intern system.

This project is helping to prevent interns from being harassed and give those who are a chance to see justice. In my own community it is creating greater awareness of a problem that affects many students’ lives but few understand until it is too late. On a larger scale it is increasing awareness and equipping others to make change in their home states. This project also is drawing legislators’ attention to the flaws in the intern system.

 

Nicollette Farkas
Striking Out Suicide

Partnered with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Striking Out Suicide is a bowling event involving the sponsorship of high school bowling teams for the purpose of generating funds to support the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. These proceeds will help the organization continue to successfully understand and prevent suicide through research, education, and raising awareness.

I have raised $3,150 for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. My event also helped to increase awareness about suicide among a high school population of over 100 students.

 

Molly Forgang
GenY Women

Catalyst, a leading global non-profit organization dedicated to researching diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Our mission is to connect, inspire, and inform high-achieving, high-potential young women so that they can better navigate the professional world

My goal was to have at least 5 respondents for each company, totaling a minimum of 10 anonymous reviews. I haven’t yet received any reviews. In term of site traffic at large, I wanted to have 50 views by the end of the semester, and I had 945.

 

Tess Glassman-Kaufman
Making Cents: Financial Fluency Network for Women

Partnered with the Newman Group at Morgan Stanley, a mother-daughter team of Financial Advisors who focus specifically on helping women further understand personal finances through investment opportunities.

Making Cents: Financial Fluency for Women is an online network to help unite young women as they begin to pursue professional careers post-college through discussion of personal finances and financial fluency.

After 4+ months devoted to creating Making Cents, I was able to build a fully functioning and interactive website, and build the user base. This project succeeded in the social impact I was working toward by providing young women with the tools and resources necessary to understand financial fluency, and more so actually engaged viewers with the content. I have received countless positive feedback from young women who utilized the site. Additionally, multiple users are logging in more than once, and the heat map shows that people are checking the site on a regular basis, which indicates that there is a wide spread interest in the content.

 

Tanisha Golding
College Success Starts Now

Partnered with Liberty LEADS, a program that offers a wide-ranging set of scholastic programs designed to meet the “cognitive, social, and personal needs of students”

The College Success Starts Now workshop series seeks to prepare high school students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds for some of the academic and social challenges they may face during their college experiences by exposing them to situations they will face in college. The program hopes that this early preparation will give students a set of approaches to challenges that may arise as well as better understanding on how to extract the most out intellectual and social experience of college.

My project contributes to the common good in the sense that it provides unique college readiness workshops to high schools from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. The workshops that I provide go beyond the traditional college readiness workshops that teach resume and cover letter writing instead focusing on academic and social challenges that may arise for college students as well. As a college student who participated in this program in high school and has experienced life in college, I can speak to the benefit of being aware of all that your campus has to offer as early as possible in your college career.

 

Katya Kamdani

Catholic Youth Leadership Program

Partnered with Corpus Christi School, Columbia Catholic Ministry, Hillel (Columbia/Barnard Jewish Group), Columbia Muslim Student Association, Columbia Right to Life, FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students).

The Catholic Youth Leadership Program is designed to foster young Catholic leaders who will serve as representatives and servants of the Catholic faith, and beacons of Jesus Christ’s love and hope for the world.

The Catholic Youth Leadership Program is designed to teach students about to enter High School to speak confidently about their Catholic faith and the stance of the church. From teaching and facilitating an open discussion with students, the program contributes to the common good by strengthening students’ Catholic identities and enabling them to speak about it among their peers of different faiths, beliefs, or opinions.

 

Rina Kattan
Children’s Choice: Promoting Social Justice in the Classroom

Partnered with P.S. 84 Lilian Weber School of the Arts, Peace by P.E.A.C.E Columbia University

Children’s Choice celebrates the potential of young children to create positive change through their choices.

The in-class curriculum received tremendous positive feedback from teachers, professors in the education field, students, and peers. Each student at P.S. 84 was given an opportunity to practice the skills and tools necessary to solve problems using their voice and actions. Next year this curriculum will flourish in ten classrooms in Harlem. To continue spreading the message and goals of Children’s Choice I will be working with the Barnard College Education Department to teach aspiring teachers my approach to teaching social justice.

 

Ailee Katz

The Uncreative Project: Social Media Challenging the Sexiest Social Norms

Partnered with Women, Action and the Media (WAM!), an independent North American nonprofit dedicated to building a robust, effective, inclusive movement for gender justice in the media.

The Uncreative Project is a media organization established to call out advertisement campaigns that objectify and degrade women and to hold responsible parties accountable. The project exists to bring solidarity to those unimpressed with the media’s overreliance of the ruthless objectification, degradation and one-dimensional portrayal of women as sex objects. By communicating to advertisement agencies and brands that many of us are tired of having our daily lives injected with these tiresome ads, the goal is to create a new norm that popularizes the distaste for these campaigns and applies an undeniable social pressure to change the way we market products.

The Uncreative Project exceeded expectations for Reach (measure of those who encounter the project), met or exceeded expectations for Engagement (measure of action taken by users), but fell short of expectations for Influence (measure of social impact via responses and “internet buzz”). That said, the Uncreative Project will continue to operate past the semester’s end.

 

Emma Lipner
LearnIn: Making LinkedIn Accessible For All

Partnered with Mental Health Association of Westchester

LearnIn helps Baby Boomers, people who haven't grown up in the age of the Internet, make professional LinkedIn profiles and effectively utilize the site to further their professional goals and pursuits.

The LearnIn Curriculum helped two MHA clients create comprehensive LinkedIn profiles, and taught them to utilize the site. My hope is that LearnIn’s curriculum will help these students best display their professional selves. Additionally, these individuals committed to teaching the LearnIn curriculum to two other MHA clients.

 

Reed Mango
ProGirls

Partnered with the Girl Scouts (Brooklyn and Pittsburgh)

ProGirls (short for Programming Girls) works to eliminate gender disparity in computing fields by introducing young women to computer programming, providing realistic and accessible role models to young women interested in coding, and inspiring girls to pursue their interests in coding.

By introducing young girls to computer programming, I hope to encourage their interests in a field they might not otherwise consider. I think it is particularly important to provide them with mentors, so that they have a support system if they choose to pursue their interest in the field of computer science. By giving girls a basic explanation of computers and how different computer languages function in relation to them, I can demystify the concept and show girls that computer programming is a skill that is useful and simple to learn.

 

Vienna Messina
Hojas Para Justicia

Partnered with the Law Office of Ralph J. Porzio, in Staten Island

To increase transparency between an attorney and their client during the initial steps of the legal process.

Twenty-five clients have been helped with my documents. Additionally, a total of forty-nine children were involved in these legal processes. It must be noted that these numbers are only from the Law Office of Ralph Porzio. Because Mr. Porzio put me in contact with the head of the 18-b/AFC panels in New York, my documents have been distributed to over seven law firms. I have not been able to assess their impact directly in these law firms, but the general feedback has been extremely positive.

 

Damini Mohan
Teens for Food Justice: Communication Challenge!

Partnered with Teens for Food Justice, an organization that runs an urban greenhouse in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

The mission of this project is to create a workshop for Teens for Food Justice that strengthens their activism around issues of food insecurity in New York by increasing awareness of the topic and giving practical knowledge on effective communication to help the participants connect with the community in a successful way.

 I successfully conducted a communication workshop for 30 students where they each made a PSA. Additionally, Teens for Food Justice is collaborating with me to replicate this workshop in 5 other schools across the city that run similar urban garden and greenhouse programs for their neighborhood.

 

Adriana Moore
Girls Zines Workshop

Partnered with the Stuart Hobson Middle School (Chelsea De’Angio, school librarian, and Aminata Ahmadou, afterschool program coordinator); Shira Pilarski, librarian at Northeast D.C. public library branch; Jocelyn Moore, teacher and coordinator of Girls Going Global at charter school for at-risk and disadvantaged youth in Sacramento, California.

To empower young girls through facilitating a space where they can share their stories, speak on issues, ask a question, and produce their own knowledges of the world around them. Through the medium of an online and print zines format, already in form, we are interrupting normative forms of producing knowledge and inserting our voices in a new, innovative and accessible way.

Through the workshop, 11 girls at the Stuart Hobson Middle School and 8 girls in the Girls Going Global program learned the art of making zines, whether online or print. The girls at The Stuart Hobson Middle School had the opportunity to engage in discussions regarding bullying, harassment and body image. The girls were not only able to have discussions around these issues and problem solve ways to address ways to address them in the future, but produce tangible items that related to the conversations we were having. The girls of Girls Going Global were able to further a project they had previously been working on. This allowed the girls to further their knowledge of the country they had previously researched, research women leaders and engage in a conversation of what it means to be a leader.

 

Abigail Pope-Brooks
Big Sister Babysitting

Partnered with Families with Children from China of Greater New York

The mission of Big Sister Babysitting is to connect teens and children of adoptive families through the medium of babysitting. We strive to provide adoptive families access to babysitters adopted from China for the benefit of children, teens, and parents. Our goal is to make having and being a role model a seamless and normal part of everyday life.

Ultimately, this program positively impacts the lives of children and teens by innovatively engaging my target demographic and reviving its community. This program is inspired by my lived experience as an adoptee, and its very creation is a response to current interests, needs, and wants of transracial adoptive families. As of May 4th 2015, Big Sister Babysitting has involved 34 sitters, 17 families, and has matched 14 parents with 1-4 sitters.

 

Julia Qian
Re-Imagine

Partnered with Chinese visiting students group

The “Re-Imagine” workshop aims to provide a safe space for college-age self-identified women to be liberated from social restrictions, expectations, prejudice and limitations and to imagine themselves as human being and valuable citizens. The self-discovery journey will help participants to seek their passion, reexamine their values, conception of the world and their individual lives.

In an attempt to quantify the impact, I have developed various channels for evaluation: a pre-workshop survey, a post-workshop survey, and feedback cards, which all have shown positive results. I also believe in a ripple effect when it comes to impact assessment. There are many incidents or lessons in life that don’t show their immediate impact. Rather, they are like seeds planted in our hearts and minds. My hope and intention is for this workshop and my limited interaction with participants to be that kind of seed.

 

Krystal-Amber Rivera
Hope and Hoops Tutoring Program

Partnered with Riverside Hope and Hoops Organization, also known as Riverside Hawks Athletic/Academic Program

To ensure underprivileged youth understand the importance of education by motivating them to become engaged in English and Math subjects, and offering them a support system that promotes educational advancement, strength of character, valuable short and long term goals, and successful lives.

Education is essential for all children. In this tutoring program, underprivileged children (10) were supplied with the educational tools and a support system necessary to promote educational advancement, strength of character, valuable short and long term goals, and successful lives. Tutors were given an exciting opportunity to help an expanding organization significantly impact students’ lives.

 

Dania Sandfia
Ready2Lead

Partnered with the Muslim American Society of New York

To empower, support, and provide resources to ambitious students of color looking to live their lives in the best way so that they can empower others to do the same.

Ready2Lead’s success assessment included measuring students’ frequency in the following things: identifying potential professional opportunities, creating and completing a resume, drafting a personalized cover letter template, developing a LinkedIn profile, and attending all sessions. With the exception that ten students, instead of creating their resume, had their resume created and just edited it, all the participants (20 high school students and 15 early college students) completed these success measures.

 

Mara Schwartz
Roadie

Roadie is the all-inclusive trip-planning app for music festivals in North America. Whether you are a festival veteran or a first-time attendee, Roadie helps you plan your festival trip by easily connecting your festival group and providing you with festival-specific packing lists and exclusive festival information and social media content. With Roadie, everything you need to plan your festival like a pro is simply a click away.

Roadie will not only help its users plan their music festival trips, Roadie will also make strides to helping social action efforts. Through 2nd degree social action, Roadie will help users gain access to social action efforts that are drawn to music festival venues. For years, social action groups have set up at music festivals, as festival attendees are often also part of the demographic interested in supporting social action causes. By providing users with the means to confidently attend music festivals, Roadie will also facilitate the relationship of the social action community that often surrounds music festivals by granting access for more people to join social action efforts.

 

Chavie (Emily) Sharfman
Navigating Women’s Leadership in Orthodox Summer Camps

Partnered with JOFA (Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance); the Kraft Center for Jewish Student Life

To build a stronger Jewish future by collaborating on issues faced by women in Modern Orthodox Summer Camps.

The one-day conference gathered 52 participants, including staff from 17 different camps spanning 4 countries. Written responses were positive, highlighting the solidarity, cognizance and empowerment that the event brought about. In addition, the conference prompted direct action: 8 participants contacted their camp directors, either demanding new protocols regarding sexual and physical abuse, or asking to create staff training focusing on camper/staff gender dynamics. So far, two camps have agreed to the former, and one has committed to the latter.

 

Amrita Singh
Media Literacy and Defining Feminism: A Roundtable Discussion

Partnered with New York Women in Film and Television (NWIFT).

This roundtable discussion creates a space for impactful dialogue addressing the current state of female representation in the media by bringing together women leaders involved in different aspects of the industry. Similarly the project will utilize the connections and ideas shared during the discussion to promote active consumption of media and add to the consciousness of content creators.

The implications of having different, and oftentimes, conflicting definitions of feminism prove harmful when considering the far-reaching effects of media and the current state of female representation. This discussion empowers both its participants and inspires individuals to join in on the conversation as active consumers. In an age of online activism, intimate conversations draw from personal experiences to inform a productive dialogue on the implications of having multiple understandings of feminism clash in the shared experience of diverse content.

 

 Lauren Wingenroth
The Dancer’s Empowerment Project

Partnered with Dance/NYC Junior Committee

The Dancer’s Empowerment Project offers practical, accessible, and thorough programming to young dancers and choreographers in the NYC area. We seek to empower talented and smart young dancers with the financial, cultural, and entrepreneurial knowledge that will best help them navigate the difficult economic climate the dance world currently faces.

Workshops held through the project will focus on specific skill sets that will help dancers market themselves, produce their own work, apply for grants, and simply articulate their value. In the Fundraising Workshop with Fractured Atlas, participants gained the knowledge and skills that will allow them to successfully fundraise for their projects. In the “How to Survive in NYC as an Artist” Workshop with The Field, participants practiced their goal-setting skills and learned tips on how to achieve work-life balance as an artist. Overall, twenty participants were empowered via workshops, and thousands of dancers and non-dancers across New York and the country were made aware of the problem the project seeks to solve via social media.

 

Jo Chiang & Sarah Esser
The Nami Project: #asiansmakingwaves

Partnered with the Asian American Arts Alliance (A4); Jessica Chen, dancer; Hye Yun Park, actor; Mrinalini Kamath, playwright; Virginia Wing; Ariel Estrada; Puddle Jumping Productions; e r a Dance Collective.

The Nami Project is a diversity initiative for Asian American women performers and creative minds seeking to make art that celebrates identity and challenges stereotypes. It unites emerging and established artists in conversations on professional development and artistic integrity, and strives to cultivate a community of interdisciplinary collaboration. Through a mentorship and performance intensive published online for all to follow, the Nami Project creates a pipeline for Asian American women to hear each other’s stories, to share their own, and to feel empowered in their work.

We considered the mentorship component of our project of our project hugely successful because of the speed at of the mentor-mentee relationships built over such a short time. The diversity campaign aspect of our project was moderately successful. We were, however, able to inspire our participants as well as other members of the Asian-American community to engage with us across different platforms.

 

Reeva Dua, Eleanor Gayle & Nikila Kakarla
The Girls in Politics Empowerment Project

Partnered with Saint Jean Baptiste High School

The Girls in Politics Empowerment Project was founded by Eleanor Gayle, Nikila Kakarla & Reeva Dua on a mission to increase the number of women in politics by inspiring high school girls to get involved in local politics. We are connecting high school girls in NYC and matching them with political campaigns that suit their passions while simultaneously engaging with them online using an integrated curriculum.

GPEP facilitated the internships and campaign placement of 10 girls from St. Jean Baptiste. Additionally, the 40 girls we worked with in our advocacy training gained contacts, advocacy skills, and crucial information about how to become politically involved. They created plans to start projects and campaigns around issues such as sexism in the workplace, sexual harassment, and domestic abuse.

 

Shaday Fermin & Tatiana Vera
The Chula Chapters

Partnered with ELLA Institute, LLN, Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority, Prep for Prep, Parents of Students in Mont Hall

The Chula Chapters creates an online vlog platform targeted at Latinas to push us and our peers to end the mythical stigma related to sexual health education; and to build and embrace sexual confidence, autonomy, and womanhood. We highlight issues that Latinas face, and discuss topics Latinas should be more aware of (e.g. vaginal anatomy, contraception, consent, virginity, biculturalism, and womanhood).

We wish to continue building Latinas’ confidence in seeking out resources available to them and to eliminate the stigma in educating themselves on their bodies, minds and professional opportunities I order to close the opportunity and education gap. With our project, we created a lot of momentum we’d like to see continued. Our curriculum with Mott Hall students included a small icebreaker for the seven participants, viewing of the video, small question and answer, and survey.

 

Katie Johnson & Ariane Rinehart
Project AIDS Free Generation

Partnered with Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Mylan.

Project AIDS Free Generation aims to increase awareness, education, and communication around the global HIV/AIDS epidemic in an impactful way, utilizing multimedia to incite the New York City community and beyond to learn more about the HIV/AIDS virus and the opportunities available to help create an AIDS Free Generation.

The impact of our event, to put it in numbers, occurred in the education of approximately 13 audience members through our film screening and post-film discussion, as well as in the total donation of $50 made to EGPAF because of our efforts. We received email addresses from some audience members who wished to learn more about EGPAF and how they could help, and received very positive feedback on the film and its effectiveness as an informational tool. In addition, our website is up and running and we will continue to update it past the completion of this project. We plan to have a panel lecture in the spring, partnering with Columbia University Dance Marathon and perhaps Columbia’s GlobeMed.

 

Lydia Miller & Sofia Soto Reyes
The Climate Changers Initiative

Partnered with Emily Fano, Senior Manager at Eco-Schools USA; Hilary Kaden and Jill Reiner, 5th grade teachers at the Manhattan School for Children; Jacqlyn Fields and Kristin O’Neill, 7th grade teachers at KIPP AMP Academy.

The Climate Changers Initiative aimed to improve the climate literacy of elementary and middle school students through a 1-hour interactive, in-class workshop, which presented the fundamental concepts of climate change in an easily digestible way.

The Climate Changers Initiative partnered with two schools through Eco-Schools USA and reached 54 students. Through pre- and post-workshop surveys, it observed a clear improvement of children’s climate literacy, and particularly their ability to describe the Greenhouse Effect, know the Greenhouse Gases, and name ways that we can mitigate climate change.

 

Hanna Montoya & Aliza Narin
The Real Story Project

Partnered with Jessica Bacal

The Real Story aims to humanize women's leadership by sharing inspiring, empowering and fun stories about the varying paths to success. The project accomplishes this through an accessible YouTube channel and an interactive website with related content.

This project involves sharing stories with women, is aimed at targeting a wide audience (accessible to anyone with access to the internet), and creates an empowering online community.

 

Sarah Silverblatt-Buser & Delaney Wing
DanceWear Share

Partnered with Groove With Me, The School at Steps, & The School at Mark Morris Dance Group

Wear Dancewear. Share Movement. We aim to ease potential barriers and limitations for students of dance by providing gently used dancewear and costumes at a low cost in order to enable young dancers to thrive with the best possible tools. We hope to further the mission of Groove With Me by supplying quality costumes and connections so that young girls learning to dance  can reach a sense of professionalism and find reward in their hard work, empowering themselves through dance performance.

Thanks to our donations, Groove With Me students will perform in costume during their year-end performance at the Apollo Theater. Our efforts expanded the presence of Groove With Me in the dance community, specifically among Metropolitan Area dance centers. By putting Groove With Me in touch with other prominent dance schools in the New York community, we are ensuring that McCreath’s work will continue to grow over the coming years.

 

2013-2014

Katelynn Boland 
H2Know the Cause

Partnered with American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and Lisa Baumann

A swimming event to raise funds for the benefit of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. With suicide being the 2nd leading cause of death in high school and college age students, we must discuss depression and suicide more.

I have raised $1,000 dollars for AFSP through my event that took place Sunday, April 27th, and the donation site is open until December.
 

Gina Borden 
Field of Hope 

Partnered with A Midwinter Night’s Dream, an organization that raises money to donate to patient care services and ALS research labs to find a cure.

Field of Hope is an advocacy campaign aimed to support A Midwinter Night’s Dream, Inc. (AMND) in their efforts to raise money for ALS/Lou Gehrig’s Disease research and patient care. Field of Hope expands the reach of AMND by hosting fundraising events across the country, primarily on college campuses. Through these events, students will be informed of the accomplishments and gains in research for ALS, and will be offered the opportunity to become involved in these causes.

The Field of Hope initiative will bring students on university campuses around the United States closer to the cause.  The initiative encourages students to run their own small events to raise money for ALS research and patient care. By aiding in philanthropic efforts, students will not only promote ALS research, but will also promote research for related neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington’s and Parkinson’s disease.
 

Rebecca Cohen 
Who Run The World 

Partnered with The DOME Project, non-profit organization

Who Run The World is an art presentation and auction of female artists’ works in the NYC area. The mission of the event is to inspire and cultivate young women in the arts to create artwork and pursue a career in the art world. Who Run The World is committed to having women artists make a profit from their works as well as donate a portion of their proceeds to educating youth on the upper west side.

The Who Run The World event will generate more confidence and visibility for women artists, most of which have never sold or presented their works before. The estimated profit is about $2,500 ($50/piece), in addition to the $175+ donation fees. The DOME project will use funds that Who Run The World contributes to educate their after-school program group about the importance of female artists.
 

Mary Cosgrove 
Volunteer with Jewish Home Lifecare

Partnered with Jewish Home Lifecare, not-for-profit healthcare and rehabilitation in New York

In partnership with Jewish Home Lifecare, members of the Columbia community will help bridge the generation gap by participating in creative writing workshop lessons. College students and nursing home residents will partner together to express their experiences through creative writing and learn from each other through oral and written histories.

The partnership between the Columbia community and Jewish Home Lifecare had a positive impact on its residents. They expressed themselves through telling stories about influential teachers and mentors. They shared their knowledge about a variety of topics with the college volunteers. Many residents who don’t usually participate seemed eager to work with the young volunteers.
 

Deepanjali Dalmia 
Bake It Till You Make It

Partnered with Hot Bread Kitchen, a social enterprise that creates professional opportunities for immigrant women while preserving baking traditions

This initiative aims to help opportunity and welfare walk the same path by increasing economic security for immigrant and low-income women. By opening access to the billion-dollar specialty food industry, ‘Bake It Till You Make It’ caters to talented and ambitious women who have outgrown their home kitchens but cannot afford to acquire the skills to start their own ventures. It helps the dreams of motivated women come true while catalyzing the growth of startup food businesses in NYC.

In collaboration with Hot Bread Kitchen, the ‘Bake It Till You Make It’ initiative increased HBK sales from the Spanish Harlem neighborhood thereby improving their hiring capacity to create better lives for low-income and immigrant women and their families. The program will help bakers follow their passion while improving their standard of living. The ventures that the graduated women launch will also add to the score of restaurants in the city, thereby adding to its culture and beauty.
 

Danielle Deluty 
Women in Tech Talk 

I partnered with my former high school, The Ramaz Upper School, which is a small Jewish school in Manhattan. I also partnered with Adda Birnir (founder and CEO of Skillcrush) and Nathalie Molina Niño (a business strategist).

In order for highly educated, Modern Orthodox high school students to maximize their leadership potential, it is necessary to create an open environment for them to explore the implications of gender imbalance both in the traditional religious sphere of their high school as well as in the post-high school secular domains of university and the workforce. The social action project is an after-school Tech Talk for Modern Orthodox high school students. The three speakers will introduce students to fields of study and industries that they may have not yet explored within the traditional curriculum of high school. The speakers will discuss the kind of tangible empowerment that technology-enabled skills can provide, and how utilizing these kills can alter the future of gender imbalance in these fields for the better. Ramaz will host an after-school discussion between students and three individuals who work at the intersections of business, innovation, and technology.

Students will walk away from this Tech Talk with a nuanced exposure of what studying and working "in tech" means. They will have a deeper understanding of the challenges that the tech industry poses in terms of gender imbalances, but they will also have a strong impression of the exciting and worthwhile possibilities that exploring a path in technology can offer.
 

Erika Esposito 
Caring for Cancer Patient Caregivers (CCPC)

Partnered with American Cancer Society Relay for Life, Weill Cornell Medical Center Pediatrics Department, Robert Taube, executive director of Boston Health Care for the Homeless

Caring for Cancer Patient Caregivers (CCPC) provides free sitter services for families battling cancer. At CCPC, we recognize the financial and emotional stressors that are encompassed in battling cancer, and we aim to reduce those stressors by giving more flexibility to the parents, spouses, or primary caregivers of the household so that they do not have to choose between staying home with a family member that needs constant supervision and attending a treatment with their spouse or child. 

With 63 eager volunteers signed up and vetted to provide service in the Manhattan area, CCPC has provided a total 36 hours of service to 7 families between April 12, 2014 and April 30, 2014. Over the summer, the project will be expanding to the Boston area and will begin working with Boston Health Care for the Homeless executive director Bob Taube in order to develop an interactive and self-sufficient web portal service that will allow families to post dates and times, and will allow volunteers to pick-up a volunteer shift. Once this portal system is established, CCPC will get back in contact with The Young Women's Leadership School of East Harlem who will advertise this volunteer opportunity to their high school juniors and seniors to complete their community service requirement and will maintain a consistent flow of volunteers for the Manhattan area.
 

Candace Fox 
Young and Fit Earth

Partnered with Philadelphia YMCA and the Green Campaign of Harlem

To advocate for a healthier and more peaceful planet. The objective of Young and Fit Earth is to educate youth about human health and the environment, and the connections between them. Finally, the goal is to promote the development of healthy and socially responsible young leaders who are able and inspired to take action on behalf of the benefit of the Earth and its inhabitants.

The goal of Young and Fit Earth is to solve the lack of good leadership as it relates to the environment. Young stands for the target audience. We are confident with young people’s ability to see what is wrong with the world and fix these wrongs.  In partnership with the Philadelphia YMCA and the Green Campaign of Harlem, YAFE facilitated a workshop to provide the young people of Philadelphia with a fundamental understanding of the health and environmental sciences and of the ways in which they, as leaders, can apply such knowledge to solving the real world issues we face today. YAFE will continue to pursue its mission by maintaining an active presence on the web and reaching out to similar organizations.
 

Emily Goldstein 
Strand Together 

Partnered with Pantene Beautiful Lengths, a hair donation and wig distribution program. Regis Corporation, an extensive salon network. The Wig Exchange, an organization that supports women suffering from cancer-related hair loss. Jewish Community Center (JCC) and Rye High School’s Breast Cancer awareness club.

To advocate for hair donation and wig distribution programs. Specifically, to raise awareness of hair donation and wig distribution programs among salons, to instill community among those who donate hair and to encourage local community organizations to host large-scale hair donation drives. Strand Together provides additional information by maintaining a website that serves as a forum on which hair donors can share stories and network.

Strand Together helps to assuage the discomfort and embarrassment that accompanies medically-related hair loss by advocating for hair donation and wig distribution programs and facilitating the donation and distribution process
 

Hope Gong 
Project We See

Partnered St. Hope Leadership Academy

Project We See is a media literacy program for teenage girls.  With the media being such an influential force in society today, it is important for girls to learn how to examine media messages with a critical lens. Project We See aims to help girls become media literate so that they can control the interpretation of what they see, rather than letting the interpretation control them.  Through three workshop sessions on awareness, analysis, and action, girls are taught how to process the content in the media and analyze the messages they are constantly bombarded with. Project We See girls learn to See More, See Better, and See Beyond the limiting portrayals of women in the media. We will focus on the value of achievement over appearance, and empower girls to become the leaders they want to be.
 

Elaine Gottesman 
Students Volunteer 

Partnered with School Volunteer Groups and Student Activity Centers

Students Volunteer is an initiative to bring NYC students together through serving the NYC population. It aims to forge bridges between the NYC university community and its surrounding community and to create bonds amongst NYC university students who have the common interest of serving their community.

Students Volunteer will increase students’ commitment to volunteerism. It will serve as a database for university students to find student-friendly volunteer opportunities. The database is an efficient, centralized space for student groups across Manhattan to post their volunteer opportunities and recruit students, thereby minimizing their need to do individual recruitment. Volunteers will also achieve major benefits .They will be able to serve their local community and socialize with students from other universities.
 

Emily Harris 
Breathe

Partnered with Sunrise Senior Living in Westfield, New Jersey, which provides medical care and a community to senior citizens unable to live independently.

Breathe is a Narrative Medicine Workshop that will provide healthcare workers and individuals who come in contact with healthcare services frequently experiences the opportunity to share their experiences. These workshops will begin by presenting the seniors to various mediums of art - poetry, prose, film, and visual art - and then challenge them to respond to a prompt related to the art-form. Participants will then share their creative writing responses, with the potential to start a discussion about their experiences with medical difficulties. The goal of this project is to introduce participants to the healing power of creative expressionism, with potential to share their creative writing about their medical needs with physicians, improving patient-physician rapport and aiding in the development of treatment options.

In collaboration with Sunrise Senior Living, Breathe will give participants the tools to develop a creative voice and express this voice to others. Two goals will be achieved. Firstly, the participants, with new experience in creative writing, can leverage this skill to increase dialogue with healthcare practitioners who seek to serve them in the recovery stages of their diseases, illnesses, or injuries. Secondly, the workshop will strengthen community ties between people with various medical needs, reinforcing support in numbers and the ability to heal through sharing. The workshop series has the potential to continue on through the summer of 2014. 
 

Aliza Hassine 
The Road from Prison

The College Initiative, a community of successful, positive and supportive students, alumni and staff dedicated to creating pathways from criminal justice involvement to college and beyond. 

We all deserve a second chance to a fresh start. An individual’s background should not inhibit their mentorship capacity, rather it should only add to it and reinforce it. The Road from Prison begins with an introductory workshop that lays the foundation for college and career counseling.  The aim of the workshop is to directly connect current college students with formerly incarcerated individuals who are all looking to enter the workforce. The Road from Prison hopes to begin the process of developing a mentorship program between the two different demographic groups.

The Road from Prison created a peer to peer workshop and mentorship program geared towards those imprisoned between the ages of 17-24. The program will explain college and its’ benefits. The Road from Prison will educate “mentees” on college life and the opportunities available post-release through a peer model format. The benefit of this format is that the provided advice comes from those of a similar age who are currently experiencing or have recently experienced collegiate life and the job hunting terrain. 
 

Malvina Kefalas 
Bright Girls, Bold Acts

Partnered with A Mighty Girl

My project is called Bright Girls, Bold Acts. We know that it is a challenge to be the heroine in your own story – I want to change that. At places like Barnard, we are taught to build our own, more inclusive literary canon. While there are collections of books for young girls that highlight strong female characters, I want to create space for them to engage with these characters and see their own potential within them. I know that I have always been inspired by books, television, and movies that highlight women I want to become. I will be holding a discussion at a local bookstore with middle-school aged girls and asking them to talk about what they find empowering in their favorite female characters. They will be asked to bring their own favorite books to expose each other to different stories with a common narrative – boldness. Then, I will ask them to commit to an act of bravery to pay it forward to their communities. Girls who might be inspired by Hermoine Granger’s intelligence and loyalty in Harry Potter may, for example, commit to standing up for their friends.

By thinking about how they can do good for others and see themselves with strength, I hope that as these girls continue their education, they learn to love strong female characters in their reading and be unafraid to be bright in class when they bring them into discussion!
 

Alessandra Kortenhorst 
Miss Education 

Partnered with Health Oriented Preventive Education (HOPE) Pakistan, a NGO based in Karachi, Pakistan, whose ultimate aim is community development through self-sufficiency of the community.

To improve the overall standard of living for people in Pakistan by encouraging gender equity in the classroom and inspiring girl’s education and success beyond primary school. 

Miss Education aims to improve the learning outcomes for girls by replacing outdated learning and assessment materials that limit girls’ achievement and career choice with gender-inclusive materials. It will encourage girls to pursue education beyond primary school in a region particularly prone to these issues. This will be a achieved by providing teachers –in-training with online resources, including culturally relevant activities based on the Pakistan National Curriculum, for 6-8 year olds. By partnering with local establishments, Miss Education aims to challenge the stunning gender binaries as well as inspire young girls to consider academic or career futures beyond the household and family unit. The Miss Education Project is already being implemented in classrooms in Pakistan. HOPE Pakistan has committed to sharing Miss Education resources as the basis for opening up a dialogue with the 136 teachers in their 200 informal and 6 formal schools in Karachi. The Miss Education Project will be a built-in component of Teach for Pakistan’s 6 week training course for 60 fellows joining the program in August 2014.

 

Kara Krakower 
The Legacy of Gender

Partnered with Stuyvesant High School in conjunction with Walter Gern, a sophomore English teacher

To demonstrate to the young, bright students of Stuyvesant High School that there has always been a place for women’s voices. The lens through which most texts portraying women are studied and taught are biased. By hearing about and discussing the necessity of a woman’s opinion, the students will be encouraged to think it important that woman of today add their voices to the literary collections and debate that make up our legacy to the future.

Approximately 190 students attended the lecture at Stuyvesant. Around 50% (25/52)of the responses gathered from students regarding the lecture clearly demonstrated that that they understood the underlying message about how we read gender in different texts based on our modern notions. However, all 47 responses that at least partially grasped the idea of the lecture said that they enjoyed the event and many would have liked for it to be longer. In addition to the responses, some very interesting in-class discussions ensued.

 

Sharon Kwong 
Defend Yourself 

Queens Herald Community Corporation

Defend Yourself seeks to empower young women in the NYC area against pervasive sexual harassment and violence. Through the implementation of a self-defense class and discussion forum, Defend Yourself gives young women the tools and skills to boldly confront these issues head-on. Defend Yourself reaches a population of Asian American women in a community in which violence against women is rampant, but the discussion is taboo. By giving them a space to talk freely and honestly about these issues, Defend Yourself aims to transform a generation of young women to take back power and own the streets they walk on.

Defend Yourself successfully taught the participants of the program realistic and practical skills to use in unsafe or dicey situations. This program in particular takes the physical knowledge and couples it with mental strength that is gained through a refined and cultivated sense of self-worth and self-empowerment. Defend Yourself is part of a greater movement that strives to enable women to take power back and find personal security.

 

Julia Leach  
Empowered Beauty Project

Partnered with Endangered Bodies

The Empowered Beauty Project is about allowing and empowering people to embrace their beauty publicly. It is about helping women and men to connect to themselves, to their power, in front of a camera, and have that moment captured in a photo series. The photos should serve as a reminder to each participant of a moment they felt the most empowered, beautiful, and seen. The photos, once they are made into profile photos on Facebook, and uploaded onto the project website will serve as a political message: that true beauty is about connecting to yourself.

I have hosted two photo-shoots- one with Columbia students on campus, and one with the Women's Therapy Center at one of their meetings. Both events were very successful. These participants will make the photos their profile pictures as soon as they are uploaded to the various Project platforms. The rollout on the online platforms is the bulk of the impact of the project, since it relies on being seen by a wide community, making a statement about selfhood and beauty. The photo-series will continue through early summer with the partnership of the women of Endangered Bodies.
 

Shelby Maniccia 
The Strength-Based Healing & Empowerment Program (SHEP) 

Partnered with The Center for Anti-Violence Education (CAE), that provides underserved communities with skills to break cycles of violence through a combination of education, physical empowerment and leadership development.

To provide a safe space for children of abuse and trauma to reflect on their histories and discover how to heal from their pasts. Through a video project and in-session workshop curriculum, SHEP helps young teen women and transyouth aged 12-19 to build self-esteem and recover from abuse and trauma.

SHEP creates the necessary space for children of abuse and trauma, giving them a tool to examine their histories in a way that allows a positive outcome to be derived. Through telling their stories of healing, the children are given a chance to relive their emotional trauma in a slightly removed way; thereby allowing them to reflect on those moments, as well as heal from what has happened and move forward with their lives. The impact of SHEP lies in the self-esteem, strength and confidence built by children in taking ownership of their pasts and realizing how they’ve been able to heal and learn.  SHEP also created a video to allow anyone with access to the internet to obtain guidance and support through the healing process.
 

Alexandra Memmi 
TechMe

Partnered with General Assembly, a company with seminal impact on entrepreneurship in NYC which hosts immersives and provides courses and workshops to teach people the most relevant and essential skills of the Internet age.

TechMe is a mentorship program, comprised of female undergrads interested in pursuing careers in entrepreneurship or the tech industry, which helps them develop the needed skills to succeed at an internship and connect them to employers who offer educational internships. TechMe is a resource that aims to educate, advance and ultimately bring opportunity to students through online courses in topical areas that will prepare them for landing a competitive internship.

In collaboration with General Assembly, educated and connected female undergraduate students with employers who offer educational internships in the male-dominated field of entrepreneurship and technology. TechMe ignited a spirit of pursuing passion by providing them with the opportunity to develop their professional skills in an interesting and engaging manner.
 

Yvonne Missry 
Through the W.I.R.E

Partnered with Thor Equities, a global leader in real estate development    

Through the W.I.R.E’s mission is to educate college women on the real estate industry, specifically the commercial sector, through co-hosting an event with Thor Equities LLC, a global leader in the industry. Today, nationwide, women have penetrated the residential real estate market, as brokers particularly, but have yet to make a major entrance into the more lucrative commercial market as well as development sector. Therefore, upon partnering with Thor Equities, Through the W.I.R.E’s goal is to empower women to view the real estate industry as a potential career avenue and opportunity for leadership.

Through the W.I.R.E successfully educated women on the gender disparity present in the male-dominated real estate industry. It sparked interest from college-aged women across NYC who had minimal knowledge of the industry.  It also empowered women to view the real estate industry as a potential career path and encouraged them to reach out to real estate professionals, including those at Thor Equities for advice and/or internship opportunities.
 

Sarah Pierce 
Venture Scouts 

Partnered with The Girl Scouts of Greater New York, Alcohoot, Gommi Arcade, Innovation Beverages LLC, We Work, Jessica Massa and Jeff Tomczeck

To empower young women to see entrepreneurship as an actual career path through which they can actualize their leadership abilities and develop confidence and self-efficacy from a young age. Venture Scouts enables young women through partnering with entrepreneurship education programs and connecting their participants with entrepreneurs in the field in order to gain exposure to the work environment, which is a critical step in recognizing the reality of entrepreneurship. Venture Scouts also facilitates internship simulation programs and inspirational seminars to accomplish a core mission of solidifying entrepreneurship as a clear path towards success and self- actualization.

Combined various elements of entrepreneurship, internships and gender disparity in order to empower young women to see entrepreneurship as a viable career path through exposing them to the work environment. Women began to recognize starting a business or working for a startup as an entire industry onto itself with a tangible network and community of individuals passionate about ideas and business development. The eventual scope of the program will consist of participants shadowing the entrepreneurs for a brief period of time during the school year.
 

Paola Pullin 
thE bracelet 

Partnered with Wakami, a socially conscious brand that designs handmade fashion accessories. Global Goods Partners, a nonprofit organization that sells handmade, fair trade products in order to improve the economic status of women in marginalized communities around the world.

thE bracelet is a charity initiative that aims to improve and provide educational opportunities for women in rural areas of Guatemala through the distribution of bracelets produced by artisanal craftswomen.   Every 16 bracelets sold will provide one year of education for a young girl from these rural regions. The aim is to help empower Guatemalan girls through education and to create opportunities in order for the next generation to thrive and become invaluable contributors in every field. We aspire to fund as many scholarships as possible to further the role of women in Guatemala. 

thE bracelet’s main goal is to contribute to the common good through providing the opportunity of education for those who can’t afford it. By increasing women’s education, the opportunities of labor and of a better quality of life automatically increase, as well. ThE bracelet provides Guatemalan women with a source of income which increases their purchasing power. As a result, their children also enjoy the positive externalities of this and a better future for the community is forged.
 

Hana Rosenbaum
Soundscape Stories

Partnered with Women in Music

Soundscape Stories’ mission is to increase women’s presence in the music industry by highlighting the stories of women in the industry and providing people of all ages who aspire towards a career in music a glimpse at different positions in the industry and the women that occupy them. 

Soundscape Stories aims to make informational interviews with women in various facets of the music industry readily available by highlighting the different stories of women in the industry and providing those aspiring toward careers in music with rare access to well-established women in the field. I like to think of it as collecting, connecting and creating as the project collects the stories—the informational interviews—connects this information to those looking to enter or learn more about music careers and ultimately creates a platform that aims to increase women’s presence in the industry.
 

Amanda Stibel 
Seeds of Peace: Roots of Faith

Partnered with Seeds of Peace

To equip high school students with an opportunity to explore leadership at the university level and learn about how strong leadership can help them continue to bring people from opposite sides of conflict together. Using interfaith work as a focus, high school students who have spent part of the past two summers at Seeds of Peace International Camp will learn from university leaders and professionals about the importance of being a strong leader. This seminar will serve as a pilot template for Seeds of Peace that can be recreated and strengthened for years to come.

The interfaith dialogue seminar in partnership with Seeds of Peace had a very positive social impact. It is devoted to enhancing the leadership skills of high school students who have already demonstrated a commitment to social action, conflict resolution and dialogue as a means of connecting people of different races, religions and beliefs. The seminar included a panel of professional and student speakers to lead discussions and talks about their work and experiences.
 

Lacey Tompkins 
AXS Map NYC

Partnered with AXS Map

In partnership with AXS Map, AXS Map NYC is a New York based campaign to inform individuals of the multifaceted concept of accessibility, as well as to populate the New York database on AXS Map and thus create a comprehensive archive of accessible locations in NYC. AXS Map NYC is an online pledge that asks individuals to promise to review at least 15 locations of AXS Map in NYC. AXS Map NYC will enable individuals with a range a disabilities, seniors, those with strollers as well as their friends and family to plan ahead and made decisions about where to eat, shop, work and spend their time.

AXS NYC successfully generated attention surrounding the issue of accessibility at large and drove users to review locations on AXS Map. Within the first month of its launch, 148 people signed the AXS NYC pledge to review at least 15 locations. The NYC community is now more aware of AXS Map as a resource. Furthermore, AXS Map will now use AXS Map NYC pledge as a template for the National AXS Map pledge, a new initiative launched for users in cities across the nation. AXS NYC is not only advocating for the creation of an access map of New York City, but also is contributing to the development of such maps for cities across the nation. 

Ashleen Wicklow 
The Super Empower Initiative 

Partnered with Tom Adams, one of the managers at the Brooklyn comic book store, and Bergen Street Comics

The Super Empower Initiative in an online/NYC-based project which seeks to bring more gender equality to all aspects of superhero comics:  to the characters, the creators, and the community. The mission of the project is to promote female superheroes, provide women opportunities to excel creatively, and make the comic community a more inclusive space for everyone.

The online aspect of the project will involve giving fans the tools they need to rally around female superheroes, and the NYC aspect of the Super Empower Initiative will stage events around the city to rally the female characters and their fans. The initiative will create social media and marketing campaigns to bring awareness to the lack of equal gender representation in comic book storylines/large company branding and demand a solution. The initiative will host comic networking nights, stage seminars to teach members of the community how to approach and defend themselves or others from sexual harassment, particularly at large comic conventions, and assemble panel discussions with notable writers, artists and editors to inspire a new generation of feminist-minded comic creators.
 

Dianna Yau 
Mentor it Forward

Partnered with Queens Public Library, Cardozo High, Francis Lewis High, Bayside High, Chinese Planning Council and Mega Academy

To empower the youth to become college ready by developing leadership qualities through mentorship.

By establishing 20 mentor-mentee pairs, hosting college admissions workshops in Queens for high school students and parents, and partnering with 6 partner organizations, I have inspired high school students to see the college admissions process as a journey of self discovery. I have provided the tools and support for these students to successfully apply for college. 
 

Johanna Bozuwa & Elizabeth Satarov 
D.O.V.E

Partnered with GEMS, a non-profit organization that acts as a safe environment for survivors of sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking as well as an alternative to incarceration for prostitution.

D.O.VE intends to empower the girls in GEMS, who have survived sexual exploitation, and to help them gain a positive outlook on their futures. D.O.V.E hopes to accomplish this through a series of seminars on job and college preparedness. D.O.V.E will also provide comprehensive packets on the topics covered in seminars, as well as webinars for the GEMS girls to watch, and a D.O.V.E website for the GEMS to explore and utilize.

The D.O.V.E seminars will educate girls who have survived sex trafficking on alternate and positive lifestyles in which they can gain confidence in their own abilities to live a fulfilling life. D.O.V.E will provide webinars which will perpetuate the legacy of these seminars so that other girls unable to participate can still gain the skill sets that we are providing. It is also D.O.V.E’s goal to increase the number or GEMS applicants for jobs and colleges. We hope that the newfound confidence that girls in GEMS gain will inspire other girls in or outside of the program to pursue their own educational and professional careers.  D.O.V.E was really able to connect with the GEMS girls, who seemed eager to engage with its custom material.
 

Sylvia Scodro & Victoria Albert 
TaleShare 

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Mercer County, an independent, non-profit organization committed to speaking up for the best interests of abused and neglected children in Mercer and Burlington Counties in New Jersey. Bank Street Bookstore and Book Culture Bookstore.

TaleShare’s mission is to strengthen community involvement in supporting our most vulnerable youth, children in the foster care system. It hopes to ensure that they have the resources needed to reach their full learning potential. TaleShare is committed to raising awareness about the importance of childhood education, especially among children in out-of-home placement by promoting the idea that all children should have access to books.

Through partnership with CASA, Bank Street Bookstore and Book Culture Bookstore, TaleShare was able to create and distribute TaleShare bags with donated books. Through this process, TaleShare was able to impact three separate groups. The first group was the 213 foster children (ranging from infants to 21 years old) currently being served by CASA of Mercer County. Each child received a new book which will support them in reaching their learning potential. The second group was the children who created the TaleShare bags and learned about the importance of donating and sharing with those less privileged through interactive activities. The third group was the parents who attended the event and learned about foster statistics, organizations supporting foster children and ways to get involved. TaleShare’s goal was to involve 100 individuals through its event and online campaign. TaleShare hopes its impact will go beyond the individuals involved to help instigate discussion about how to best serve the foster children in our communities.
 

Lauren Gorab and Katie Donham 
The CO-OP GIRLS.com

Partnered with Lauren Gorab and Katie Donham on behalf of The Co-Op Girls.com, Melissa D’Andrea on behalf of Girl Scouts of Greater New York

To provide 14-18 year-old girls in NYC with the opportunity to take part in, as well as take advantage of, their untapped network of peers, through a positive, encouraging, and celebratory online platform.

The CO-OP Girls website will highlight the diverse and unique perspectives that make up the young girls in NYC by featuring young girls’ pictures and an answer to one of our questions about New York. By 18, these girls will be venturing down their own paths and we will be able to show them the different available options, as well as provide new activities, books and places available to these girls that they may not yet know about. Giving young women positive ways to increase self-concept will allow them to more successfully navigate and benefit from networks that will increase their social capital.

 

2012-2013

Sarosh Arif
Arneeq

Arneeq is a philanthropic visual arts company that is devoted to promoting and nurturing artistic expression and social consciousness. By partnering with charities, non-profits, and individuals including other artists through an initiative called “Calligraphy with a Cause,” Arneeq aims to raise awareness, funds, and spirits through art.
 

Keren Baruch
VentureGirls

VentureGirls will take an active role to remedy the lack of women in technology by creating a technology-focused internship program for junior aged high school girls in Manhattan. This program will address the lack of early exposure to the tech startup field as well as provides marketable skills to be used in the internship and beyond. By complementing this program with a website that examines research regarding women in technology, the program will in essence be a practical laboratory for women to develop an interest in technology before they have to choose a path in college.
 

Annika Christensen
My Health, My Story

“My Health, My Story,” brings women together through social media to tell their stories about the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, and how it affects them.  The ACA is now law, and requires insurance companies to pay for women’s preventive care, but many women are unclear on how it will concretely affect their lives. This project provides safe forums on blog, Facebook, and Twitter for women to share thoughts, ask questions, and tell stories about their healthcare and how it is changing. The project also connects women to further resources about women’s health rights, and hosts events to provoke sharing and discussion beyond the web. 

 

Stephanie Christian
Strength: Eradicating Breast Cancer Through Education

Strength: Eradicating Breast Cancer Through Education, Strength for short, is committed to the education of high school women on issues of early detection and treatment of breast cancer through mentorship and guidance of highly informed college age women.  By fostering a comfortable environment to learn, this initiative provides college age women the opportunity to educate younger women on one of the most important health issues impacting women all over the world today. 

Rachel Collens
The Painting Lot

The Plot is more than simply an art project or a gathering space. In conjunction with the Newburgh Mural Project, the Plot is dedicated to fostering public interaction while expressing the values of the Newburgh community. By working with other community-based organizations, the Plot hopes to support an intrinsic change in the perception and reputation of the City of Newburgh.

 

Jennifer Fearon
Listen Up Leadership

Listen Up Leadership is a narrative project connecting young college-aged women in New York City with their role models to discuss the stepping stones to leadership.   Under the mantra “Hear What’s Possible,” participants conduct oral histories of their role models to learn about the challenges women face today in pursuing and holding positions of authority, influence, and power.  Through the act of listening to narratives of their idols, Listen Up Leadership prepares participants to see their paths forward and to learn the incremental steps towards being heard.

Rachel Ferrari
Next Step Citizen

Next Step Citizen collaborated with staff of the Young People For Civic Engagement Fellows Program to identify issues that would get more young people involved in elections. Next Step Citizen is a series of social network profiles that distribute information about participating in campaigns and city agendas as a private citizen. Next Step Citizen uses two Tumblr blog platforms for articles and photos. These posts are automatically directed to the @NextStepCitizen Twitter account. This profile follows and is followed by many educational and government profiles that the Next Step Citizen community can access. The Next Step Citizen Facebook page offers the same content as the other profiles for yet another point of access. The accessibility of content about elections offers an open door to becoming a citizen who does more than just register and vote.  Next Step Citizen also advocates for active participation in social media by elected representatives. Replying and retweeting followers shows that an office is paying attention to its constituents from many vantage points.

Talia Harcsztark
Feminism Encounters Religion

My project involved the design and implementation of a feminist advocacy curriculum for a Jewish Orthodox high school that would (1) enrich students’ perspectives on feminism such that feminism would become a less threatening category of values, and consequently, a less contested social and political category and (2) empower students (young men and women alike) to become activists on behalf of feminist, and particularly Jewish feminist, causes.
 

Lindsey Harris
Emergen-Care

The mission of the mobile application Emergen-care is to connect New York City parents with caretakers for emergency or last minute care requests. Oftentimes mothers or fathers have to forfeit professional advancement opportunities such as evening networking receptions or weekend conferences when their primary caretaker cancels or is unavailable. Similarly, caretakers who rely on nannying or babysitting for income may find their schedule unexpectedly open but are not sure how to find a job on short notice. For the first time, parents can connect with reliable caretakers for last minute care—Emergen-care is designed to bridge this gap in surplus supply and demand by connecting caretakers with short notice care requests from parents.

 

Laura Hefter
TomKarensCenter.com

TomKarensCenter.com seeks to inspire social activism by encouraging and supporting travelers in Thailand to volunteer at Tom Karen’s Center, a new educational center near the northern region of Chiang Rai. The mission is one that hopes to empower volunteers to be agents of change and take an active role in helping to create a brighter future for the Center’s children and the world around them. 

 

Samara Jaffe
Autism Grows Up: A Discussion about Love, Sex, and Coming-of-Age for Adolescents with Autism

Autism Grows Up is dedicated to equipping high-functioning autistic kids with the tools they need to discuss what it means to develop and communicate romantic feelings, how to make sense of physical, bodily changes, and learn about sex and sexual identity. Autism Grows Up will bring together psychologists, parents and families, sex educators, and special education teachers to create a safe and meaningful space where kids can voice their concerns, express their curiosities, and clarify their confusions about sex, love, and coming-of-age. Kids with autism typically have a tough time expressing themselves, understanding body language and non-verbal cues, and respecting personal space. But, like any kid, autistic kids will begin to experience changes in their bodies and their attitudes towards love, sex, and romantic relationships as they grow up. Autism Grows Up will invite high-functioning autistic teens to learn about, explore, and talk about these issues in the special-needs community.

 

Camille Kafati
The Etnia Project

This project aims to serve as a development agent for Honduran artisan women, working to improve their quality of life and those of their families by introducing their products to the American market through a dynamic website.

The goal of my project is to create a website that will serve as an “online catalogue” or “window shopping” portal designed to showcase a collection of Honduran art and products for the home, hand crafted by Honduran artisans (etniaproject.com). The website will be dynamic in that it will not only promote the products themselves but also the fabrication process and personal life stories of the amazing individuals who produce them. The purpose is not only to create a higher demand for the products but also to create an emotional and educational experience for the buyers, bringing them closer to the realities taking place in underdeveloped countries like Honduras.

 

Julia Kennedy
The Wonder Women Project

MissRepresentation.org is a non-profit social action campaign and media organization established to shift people’s consciousness, inspire individual and community action, and ultimately transform culture so everyone, regardless of gender, age or circumstance, can fulfill their potential.  Miss Representation agreed to publish two pieces that I specifically wrote for their blog as well as promote the Wonder Women Project and serve an advisory function.

 

Jenna Lauter
International Artists Penpal Initiative

To encourage engagement with the arts by fostering a sense of international community and camaraderie; to facilitate inspiration and learning through the cultivation of relationships and the sharing of diverse backgrounds, experiences and ideas.
 

Shelby Layne
S•B•L Jewelry

S•B•L Jewelry collects, makes, and distributes fine jewelry to raise funds for the Darfuri rape-prevention Solar Cooker Project (SCP) of the anti-genocide non-profit Jewish World Watch. 100% of the jewelry proceeds go to the SCP.  S•B•L Jewelry seeks to provide a sustainable way to recycle jewelry, to create an original fine jewelry line, to provide a socially responsible business platform from which consumers can acquire jewelry, and to become a go-to website for charitable jewelry gifts.

 

Zoe LePage
Exhale to Inhale

Founded by a yogi who believes in the power of yoga, supported by the yoga community, and guided by professionals with experience working with intimate partner violence survivors, Exhale to Inhale strives to help women heal and reclaim their lives. Exhale to Inhale provides “basics of yoga” programs in transitional housing facilities and support centers. More than simply stretching and strengthening, yoga addresses trauma on the mental and physical level, and provides tools for handling stress and anxiety. Through weekly classes, developed and lead by experienced yoga teachers, women are taught how to ground themselves in their bodies and reconnect to their strength, helping them on their path to restoring their self-esteem and reclaiming their lives. To learn more or get involved in Exhale to Inhale, visit exhaletoinhale.org.

 

Leah Messing
Ambassadors for Social Justice 

Ambassadors for Social Justice is an initiative to teach high school students to incorporate a commitment to social justice into their Jewish identities. Inspired by the resources of American Jewish World Service, this sixty minute program about sexual health and reproductive rights in Kenya educates the participants how grassroots development empowers individuals to be agents of change in their own communities.

 

Elise Mordos
Seeds in the Middle Movers

The partner for this program is the nonprofit Seeds in the Middle and P.S. 221 both in Brooklyn. Seeds in the Middle's goal is to inspire parents, educators, students, and their community to access all opportunities beginning with improving their health, enhancing arts education, and greening their environment.

 

Jennie Ostendorf
The Seven Sisters: Now and Then

The mission of the Seven Sisters: Now and Then is three-fold. The project aims to: 1. Create a cross-generational network of women with ties to the Seven Sister schools by bringing together members from today’s generation of women’s college students with those of previous generations in order to share these conversations.  2. Strengthen ties between students, alumnae, and their respective colleges by asking alumnae and students to reflect upon their college experience, they will feel more connected to their school and be more motivated to stay active and involved in their college community.  3. Provide a unique survey of the women's college experience, both historically and presently, that is accessible to the public via an online platform, society will get a glimpse into the women's college experience and will better understand the importance of these institutions and why they should continue to exist.
 

Jennifer Piperno
Youth Climbing Partnerships

YCP is a sports-based educational pilot program that serves to connect indoor rock-climbing facilities with youth groups and organizations. The pilot offers under-resourced, urban, and at risk youth the chance to develop physically, intellectually, and emotionally through the challenge of indoor rock climbing. The program provides belay training for program leaders and professional instruction from a staff clinician at Yale on how to effectively utilize climbing as an educational and developmental tool for at-risk youth. YCP aims to create and cultivate lasting relationships between climbing gyms and local youth groups.

 

Alessandra Rago
Speak Up, Speak Out

Speak Up, Speak Out seeks to address the deficiency of public speaking education in our education system and provide underprivileged high school students with the resources, confidence, and unique opportunities needed to excel in public speaking. It will provide a curriculum of why public speaking is important, what is the most effective way to speak in public, and how to combat nerves, as well as use interactive public speaking games and exercises as a tangible means of applying public speaking skills and forming opinions. By linking the public speaking curriculum to their academic curriculum, Speak Up, Speak Out also aspires to provide a means of verbal creative expression. By fostering such skills and expression, Speak Up, Speak Out will create an encouraging community of speaking with supportive resources. 

 

Emmeline Rodriguez
Education Without Barriers/Educación Sin Barreras

Education Without Barriers provides Latino junior high school students and their families with accessible and culturally-sensitive informational resources that empower them to pursue academic enrichment opportunities. We believe that providing accessible, bilingual educational resources to Latino communities in will serve as a catalyst for eliminating the educational opportunity gap among Latino youth in New York City.

 

Gabriella Romanos-Abi-Habib
PHE (Peer Health Education)

According to Human Rights Watch, one domestic migrant worker dies each week of unnatural causes (namely suicide or attempted escape) in Lebanon.  Migrant workers are systematically denied their inherent human rights such as freedom of movement and the recognition of legal status, among a slew of others.  My series of flyers/brochures is designed to complement the information LeMSIC-SCORA presents in its sessions at MWTF and at schools and other community organizations throughout Lebanon.  This publication and resource will be extremely useful to their teaching and more than anything, empowering to their students.  

 

Eva Schneider
The Council Chronicles: Election Edition 2013

Reade Street Strategies is a small political consulting firm that primarily focuses on political fundraising.  Our current clients consist of New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Democratic Assembly Committee, Cyrus Vance, and other non-profits.  We have previously worked with Reshma Saujani (candidate for Congress in New York) and Kathleen Rice.  

 

Kim Schoenfeld
Senior to Senior

Senior to Senior teaches senior citizens at the Stanley Isaac’s Senior Center how to use technology to benefit their health. The workshop will specifically focus on medically-related websites, healthy online recipes, shopping online for medicine and other goods, and mind-stimulating online games. In addition, Senior to Senior will provide the senior citizens with access to an instructional website and pamphlet that have a clear, easy-to-understand summary of what was taught in the workshops. 

 

Jessica Schwartz
My Med Card

My Med Card offers an overview of cardholders’ relevant medical history information to be used in case of emergency. If cardholders are injured, incapacitated or otherwise unable to communicate, My Med Card will serve as a resource for emergency responders, providing them with key aspects of the cardholder’s medical history, including but not limited to: list and doses of current medications taken, list of allergies, list of chronic medical conditions, blood type and pertinent family history information. Signed and dated by both the cardholder and a physician, My Med Card will reflect the cardholder’s up-to-date medical profile. Designed for display in the front of a wallet with other personal identification materials, My Med Card should be easily accessible in urgent circumstances, allowing trained professionals to deliver the most appropriate and effective care in times of need. Outside of emergencies, the important information presented on My Med Card will reduce waiting times in hospitals and doctors’ offices. 

 

Lauren Seaman
Talk Activism

Talk Activism is a resource for social activists to help them facilitate "difficult conversations" amongst members of their movement.  Difficult conversations address sensitive issues, those which make deliberation and honesty difficult.  By deliberating sensitive issues in conversation, activists can be more honest, direct and effective in communicating what they need to make their collaboration worthwhile.  Talk Activism includes a “Training for Facilitation” session which can use to train activists to become facilitators of these conversations.

Designed especially for social activists, this resource may be used to help prepare facilitators to lead conversations in conferences, town halls, or within their own organizations.  Talk Activism is part of a larger vision for improving the collaboration and communication amongst social activists in order to inspire more effective social movements overall.

 

Gabriella Spitzer
Whole City Replanting Project

Worcester, MA has lost over 30,000 trees since 2008, when the nation's worst infestation to date of Asian Longhorned Beetles was first discovered. This has impacted the city's ecology and humanity in important ways--for example, my thesis shows that the areas which have experienced the most loss of canopy cover have gained in temperature, to a statistically significant degree. While the Worcester Tree Initiative, City Foresters, and Department of Conservation and Recreation have all worked to replace the 30,000 trees, they have not done so systematically or with an eye to ecosystem services. The Whole City Replanting Project aims to make a coherent replanting scheme for Worcester to follow to increase canopy cover, tree diversity, and the overall ecological health of the city.

 

Mariany Polanco & Liscare Castro
ELLA Finances

Our mission is to provide an online platform creating access to resources that serve as catalyst for undergraduate, underprivileged, Dominican women to become educated and therefore more confident in managing their finances.  Unlike other resources our objective is not to teach these students everything there is to know about each aspect of financial fluency. Our goal is to motivate them to want to learn why financial fluency is important; to provide them with the resources they can use to continue learning about it, and how they can take ownership of their finances. We have created blog and written a few postings (opening up the conversation about money, discussing why financial fluency is important, and discussing what the dangers of not budgeting are). We are creating our logo with the help of a graphic designer, and created a market research event for the end of April. 

 

Mary Glen & Michele Spitzer
Entrepreneurs in Residence

Entrepreneurs in Residence is a program that we are working to build as a future tenant of entrepreneurship at the Athena Center for Leadership Studies. Thus, we have focused on putting together the building blocks for the initiative, as we work to secure funding and space. Accomplishments include designing a landing page to keep interested participants or investors in the loop; an online proposal designed to provide more information to such participants or investors; and a business plan outlining a two-year plan, marketing strategies, branding, logistics, etc. In addition, we have focused on meeting with future investors and partners in this initiative. 

 

2011-2012

Nina Ahuja
KAIZA

KAIZA was developed in order to solve several problems that I encountered over my 20-year experience as a consumer of South Asian luxury goods. Many of these goods, specifically unique designs that are also made well, are extremely difficult to acquire. They are currently only available for purchase at stores in Indian immigrant-heavy communities, from India, or from non-secure websites. Furthermore, these goods have no standard sizing or brand association, leaving the pricing up to arbitrary proprietor demands. Little access to the purchasing of quality products at reasonable prices, combined with an urge to standardize the Indian fashion industry, led me to create this company and believe in its sustainability.

 

Ana Batista
Rock Your Résumé: The Résumé Workshop

Rock Your Résumé seeks to educate high school and college students on the basic formatting on how to create a résumé that will best present their background and skillsets so that they can stand out during internship and job searches.

Through this program, Rock Your Résumé: The Résumé Workshop will provide high school and college aged students (The workshop at Dominican Academy will be for the Sophomore Class): Free tips and consultation of their personal résumés, ability to create and format personal résumés to convey their professional and academic experiences, an opportunity to bring the greater community together by having the workshop at a local center for the NYPL. The workshop consists of a presentation discussing basic formatting, what to include on the résumé, as well as tips on how the employer reads the résumé. It is free of charge and available to students ages 14-21.

 

Sarah Belfer
EverGreen Host

The EverGreen Host promotes practices that help develop a consciousness oriented toward environmental sustainability. To do so, EverGreen Host publishes blog posts and other written materials to educate people about how to make parties that are both stylish and earth friendly. These practices both reduce the waste created by the parties themselves and they help party hosts share their dedication to sustainability with their guests and communities.

 

Jessica Blank
Political Education: The Importance of Increasing Political Awareness in High School Students

With this project, I established communication with my partner: the White House Office of Public Engagement. This office served as my resource in obtaining information to provide to high school students in order to educate them on political issues. In addition, we will discuss past venues that have been used to for this purpose and how successful they have been. Also I researched various political topics that impact high school students; for example, educational issues such as the growing cost of a college education.  I created a website that contains toolkits for students to become politically involved, as well as resources on how to learn more about current issues and political events.   My project also created a marketing campaign to promote this website, using social media, promoting it to local and national high schools, and working with the White House Office of Public Affairs.  Finally, I sought to establish a mailing list for students to sign up and receive weekly/monthly newsletters and well as important information on voting registration and conference calls.
 

Stephanie Bradford
Eyewitness Injustice

Eyewitness Injustice was founded in 2011 to serve as a leading source of multimedia information about the fallibility of eyewitness identification. The most common element in all wrongful convictions later overturned by DNA evidence is eyewitness misidentification. Therefore, Eyewitness Injustice is dedicated to addressing the causes of eyewitness error. By launching a website and social network to disseminate information about eyewitness misidentification and how to work for policy and procedure reforms, Eyewitness Injustice fills a void in criminal justice advocacy. Eyewitness Injustice strives to raise awareness about the need for eyewitness identification reform, and how to support policies and procedures that protect the innocent.
 

Mashkura Chowdhury
GED-Independence

GEDI (GED-Independence) aims to provide South Asian women an opportunity to learn about the GED and other educational opportunities to build skills and strengthen their capacity to be self-sufficient. By offering GED classes taught by students and trained professionals in their native tongue, GEDI aims to help women gain the confidence and security to work outside the home.

Naomi Cooper
Walk the Walk: Strive through stride to help yourself, the environment, and others

Walk-the-Walk is a non-for-profit initiative dedicated to promoting healthy lifestyles, a Greener NYC, and the Reeve Foundation by: Encouraging long-term healthy habits through foot-travel and exercise; Advancing NYC Green initiatives and raising awareness of the Carbon Footprint; Partnering with Medina Fitness and Rehab to support The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation.

Encourage people to walk 1000 miles and raise 2000 dollars for the Reeve Foundation.  I was successful in achieving my goals: over 1100 miles were walked and over 2,000 dollars were raised in the month of November.

 

Jaclyn D’Aversa
The Cause

The Cause is an e-commerce website that sells fashionable jewelry with a cause. The Cause features a different non-profit organization each week and the jewelry for the collection is modeled by a young woman who actively supports the non-profit. The proceeds from every item benefits a specific non-profit.

 

Alanda Dreiman
The T.E.A. Project: Therapy.Expression.Art

I created a four-week long poetry and creative writing curriculum/workshop for children between the ages of eleven to seventeen. I subsequently implemented the workshop in Sarah Burke House, a confidential domestic violence shelter that runs a School Age Children's Program.  The project aims to build and foster therapeutic, creative, and safe spaces for children living in domestic violence shelters. It researches therapeutic educational curricula in order to create four to six-week long lesson plans that teach children how to read, write, and perform poetry. At the end of the session, the T.E.A. Project hosts a poetry reading and exhibition wherein the children display their work or perform their poetry aloud. By promoting personal expression through creative writing, the T.E.A. Project offers an alternative and fun form of therapy to children who have survived domestic violence.

 

Gabrielle Ferrara
The Fashion Gym

Fashion Gym is a non-for-profit space in New York City dedicated to providing design and production resources for fashion entrepreneurs.

Through the Fashion Gym Project I aimed to develop a full business plan and pitch packet for potential investors.  The project involved researching the problem and solution, establishing market size, developing an approximate budget and investment return, and contacting experts in the field to learn more.

 

Suzanne Gutman
Sharsheret College Toolkit

The Sharsheret College Toolkit makes event-planning information as easily accessible as possible, so students will be more inclined to work with Sharsheret and promote breast cancer awareness. This toolkit provides breast cancer information that can be specifically tailored to the college student audience. The toolkit also provides a forum for discussion, so the Sharsheret staff and other student leaders can advise and communicate with each other. By listing the other current student-run events, students looking for ideas or looking to plan similar events will have specific examples. Sharsheret, a Jewish organization focused on raising awareness and providing support for breast cancer, has agreed to be my partner. It is a real partnership in which both sides benefit equally. They will benefit because a large number of their fundraising events are run by college students, and having a toolkit will only make college students more inclined to work with them. Additionally, having a college student running the college toolkit will give them insight into the college market. On my end, Sharsheret has agreed to link my toolkit to their website and help monitor my discussion board to provide advice to college students. Additionally, they will tell individuals about the toolkit when college students get in touch with them.

 

Cindy Hernandez
T.A.S.C., Technology and Senior Citizens

For her Project, Cindy chose to work with senior citizens and a component of the Internet. More specifically, she created a workshop where she taught senior citizens how to create, send, and receive e-mails. She became very passionate in this area when she began interning for a psychiatrist in private practice two years ago. This doctor was an older adult who was struggling with her e-mail accounts and needed assistance doing the most basic things on e-mail. The workshop runs an hour-long and the senior citizens are provided with a booklet that shows and provides them a step-by-step guideline of how to create an e-mail account.

 

Joli Ienuso
The Space

The Space is a café that will be located in NYC serving small plate meals, sandwiches, wraps, soups, baked goods, and coffee and tea based drinks. They will also have a “Late Night Munchies Menu” of pizza bagels (both vegan and non-vegan), French fries, mozzarella sticks and more. The Space will host a variety of open mic nights, including a teen night, a poetry slams, a general open mic, and host a gay-straight alliance, as well as selling local CD’s, art and books.

 

Dorothy Kadar
Girls Can Do!

Girls Can Do! promotes ideas of gender equality among elementary and middle school-aged girls. GCD is an online community and blog that provides an outlet for girls to read and write about other girls and women who challenge society's idea of what girls should or can do. GCD celebrates the individuality of all girls, and serves as a supportive online resource for girls who may feel alone in their unique pursuits.

 

Talya Levi
Be Givers: Giving for Beginners

BeGivers is a website geared towards creating a culture of philanthropy among young professionals that is productive, thoughtful, and influential. The projects mission is two-fold.  First, to make young professionals appreciate why active philanthropy should be a baseline part of their budget.  Second, to provide young professionals with the financial planning and educational tools necessary to help them make informed decisions about how to give as well as how to allocate their charitable donations in a meaningful, yet financial responsible way.  The overall goal is to make charitable donations a life-long priority rather than just a random act of kindness.  BeGivers encourages people to explore new ways to contribute to charity that extend beyond their own communities, creating a culture of giving.

 

Pei-ying Lin
Besway

I am working on making a 3-in-1 product with natural ingredients that makes shaving easier and faster for men. This product will act as a pre- shave, a shave cream, and a face-mask moisturizer/aftershave toner that will all wash off leaving the skin irritation free and protecting the skin from razor burn and rash. It’s time-efficient and inexpensive. 

 

Kaylin Marcotte & Kelly Holloway
The Barnard Microfinance Bank

The Barnard Microfinance Bank seeks to provide a convenient and economical way for students to support the causes they believe in within the parameters of a student budget. It provides the opportunity to contribute, through micro loans, to female entrepreneurs and small business owners in developing countries who will, in turn, build their domestic economies and repay the loans. The Barnard Microfinance Bank is committed to promoting  smart, sensible student investments and empowering students who are interested in social entrepreneurship and business growth.

 

2010-2011

Fatima Abdul-Nabi
Who am I? A Workshop to Understanding Identity

Fatima developed a social action project that would serve the young Muslim women of an Islamic private school, the Andalusia School in Yonkers. Fatima aimed to introduce self-exploration and reflections surrounding multiple identities, discuss and challenge stereotypes, and create stronger bonds among young Muslim women. She organized a one-day discussion-based workshop that would work towards deconstructing identity and redefining what it means to be a veiled or unveiled Muslim woman in today’s post-9/11 world.

 

Kalema Boetang
Art is Love: Creating through Expression

Art is Love: Creating through Expression was supported by Kalema’s belief that children’s educational development is contingent upon artistic exposure at a young age. Her social action project focused on three areas through which Kalema was able to motivate art educational reform. The first involved the creation of a day that was dedicated to art education at Columbia University, the second focused on outreach to partner organizations that support art education, and the third was designed to help sustain a coalition that could work towards education reform in New York City schools and participate in future Art’s Day activities. Kalema plans to continue holding Art’s Day annually at Columbia University and hopes that Art is Love will spread to school across New York City.

 

Ashley Bush
Me & the Mini: Mini Changes that Make a Big Difference

For her social action project, Ashley created a business plan that would work towards empowering women while contributing to stimulate the global economy. Through a number of partnerships, Ashley hopes to create jobs for women by supervising the manufacture and sales of mini-skirts and utilizing the profits to fund various entrepreneurial projects offered to women.

 

Reni Calister
The Young Women’s Leadership Workshop

Reni created a one-day workshop for twenty-one students from the Susan E. Wagner High School in Staten Island. The Young Women’s Leadership Workshop brought together students from grades 9-12 and gave them the opportunity to explore their skills and expand their understanding of leadership. The workshop included a series of mini-workshops and activities that focused on such topics as introducing themselves, shaking hands, leading by example, and projecting the powerhouse. Reni hopes that her social action project will be the first step in opening the doors of leadership and power to young high school women in New York.

 

Bridgit Donnelly
Elections on a College Campus 101

In partnership with College Democrats of America (CDA), Bridgit compiled updated information on various election laws to provide local College Democrats chapters with useful resources for its members. Through her previous work as a Field Organizer for the 2008 Obama campaign, Bridgit has been motivated to promote voting in college-aged students. Election on a College Campus 101 ensured that the College Democrats chapters were equipped to inform students about election laws and how they affect college students. Bridgit hopes to continue her partnership with CDA to continue providing College Democrats chapters across the country with updated resources on election laws.
 

Jorie Dugan
The First Line: Empowering Youth to be the First Line of Defense Against Child Trafficking

Through her work with various domestic and international human rights organizations, Jorie was inspired to create and execute a preventive approach to the fight against child trafficking. She believes that legislative programs and policies that punish criminals are not sufficient to protect children. Thus, by educating and empowering youth to act as guardians for one another, children can become active in the movement against child trafficking. Jorie created informative resources and a presentation that would be available to children in schools, clubs, and youth organizations. Jorie hopes that The First Line will spark a national movement to empower youth to become advocates against child trafficking.

Manya Ellenberg
Dress the Part, Be Yourself

Inspired by the confidence that may be found in clothing and style, Manya designed her social action project to help young women dress appropriately for their college entrance and job interviews. Manya also dedicated her project to helping women prepare a strong resume and enhancing the skills necessary for a successful interview to actively support women in reaching their full potential. Dress the Part, Be Yourself partnered with Bottomless Closet, an existing venture for adult women that works to prepare them for their job interviews. By taking on her social action project, Manya learned that effective leadership requires perseverance and she hopes to continue leading Dress the Part, Be Yourself in the fall.

 

Freesia Levine
Under One Sky

Under One Sky is a teen leadership program that empowers young people ages 14-17 to develop their knowledge of, and build a personal connection with the environment. Freesia partnered with Trail Blazers, a youth development organization that seeks to support young people who are “productive, responsible, and compassionate citizens in their communities.” Freesia aimed to enhance the engagement of young teens in their communities and developed a social action project that would give students the opportunity to participate in workshops and field trips that would culminate in the creation of their own community-based social action projects. This included a two-week sleep away camp that would allow teens to engage with the environment and inspire them for the work they would begin within their own communities. Freesia is working on advertising the program to local high schools and ensuring the success of the pilot program which will launch in August 2011.

Erica Van
Old Buds

Through her experience working with children, Erica became aware of the neglect that often surrounds the elderly population. As a result, she was inspired to design her social action project to serve the elderly community by connecting young college students with senior citizens in their homes throughout the city. Students from Barnard, Columbia College, and Columbia Engineering participated as volunteers for Old Buds in order to establish and sustain active interactions between college students and the elderly. Erica hopes her project will continue to grow by the efforts of the enthusiastic students who volunteered this year.

 

Alexandra Katz and Danielle Stouck
Sex Trafficking in Iraq: Perspectives from the Non-Profit and Political Worlds

Alexandra and Danielle sought to raise awareness and create discussion surrounding sex trafficking victims in Iraq through their social action project. They brought together Lisa Davis, the Director of Human Rights and Advocacy at MADRE, and Minna Elias, the Chief of Staff for Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and Co-chair of the House Trafficking Caucus, to discuss how the non-profit and political sectors are working together and separately on challenging the issue of sex trafficking. Additionally, Alexandra and Danielle launched a letter-writing campaign addressing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to acknowledge the role the United States has played in exacerbating sex trafficking in Iraq and urge the government to expand P-2 Refugee Status to victims.

 

Maasha Kah, Tina McKenzie, and Tiara Miles
The Bridges Service Day

Description: Maasha, Tina, and Tiara developed a social action project that reflected their dedication to supporting underprivileged youth. They partnered with The East Harlem Tutorial Program, a non-profit organization that provides essential educational, tutoring, and developmental services to low-income middle school and high school students of color. Their vision for The Bridges Service Day included an aggressive approach to targeting the population of young students from grades 6 through 8 in order to provide them with early-exposure to financial literacy skills, peer mediation, and digital media knowledge for their educational advancement.