Social Action Projects, 2011-2012


Student: Nina Ahuja

Social Action Project: KAIZA

Description: 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.


Student: Ana Batista

Social Action Project: Rock Your Résumé: The Résumé Workshop

Description: 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.


Student: Sarah Belfer

Social Action Project: EverGreen Host

Description: 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.


Student: Jessica Blank

Social Action Project: Political Education: The Importance of Increasing Political Awareness in High School Students

Description: 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.


Student: Stephanie Bradford

Social Action Project: Eyewitness Injustice

Description: 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.


Student: Mashkura Chowdhury

Social Action Project: GED-Independence

Description: 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.


Student: Naomi Cooper

Social Action Project: Walk the Walk: Strive through stride to help yourself, the environment, and others.

Description: 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.


Student: Jaclyn D’Aversa

Social Action Project: The Cause

Description: 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.


Student: Alanda Dreiman

Social Action project: The T.E.A. Project: Therapy.Expression.Art

Description: 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.


Student: Gabrielle Ferrara

Social Action Project: The Fashion Gym

Description: 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.


Student: Suzanne Gutman

Social Action Project: Sharsheret College Toolkit

Description: 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.


Student: Cindy Hernandez

Social Action Project: T.A.S.C., Technology and Senior Citizens

Description: 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.


Student: Joli Ienuso

Social Action Project: The Space

Description: 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.


Student: Dorothy Kadar

Social Action Project: Girls Can Do!

Description: 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.


Students: Talya Levi

Social Action Project: Be Givers: Giving for Beginners

Description: 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.


Student: Pei-ying Lin

Social Action Project: Besway

Description: 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. 


Student: Kaylin Marcotte & Kelly Holloway

Social Action Project: The Barnard Microfinance Bank

Description: 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.