Feed on

“Picasso and Math”
“Exploring the River”
“Beginning Breakdance”

I know what you might be thinking – Where are these classes in Wesmaps?!  Wesleyan students may be disappointed to find that these are not in fact college courses, but rather classes in the arts, math, and sciences  for children in Middletown at the Green Street Teaching and Learning Center (formerly the Green Street Arts Center).

Fortunately for many of the parents on campus, however, Wesleyan faculty and staff receive a 50% discount on afterschool programs for their children (Grades 1-8) at Green Street! Registration for Spring 2015 is now open, and parents can call the front desk  (860-685-7871) to sign up for anywhere between one and five classes a week. They can also sign up for Homework Time, where the kids get a start on their school assignments with help from college student tutors.

When it comes to gifts, we are taught early on that it’s the thought that counts. We prioritize sentimental value over monetary value, but another factor to consider is a gift’s social value: what are the repercussions of your consumption in communities, economies, and environments around the world? The rise of social entrepreneurship has made it easier to not just be thoughtful in our gift-giving, but to also be impactful, and to purchase goods and services that do double duty as presents for loved ones and investments in social change.

This holiday season, if you’d like to give gifts that keep on giving, why not also support a Wesleyan alum in the process? Here are a few of the many organizations where alumni are helping to make a difference, and where you can find creative and socially-conscious presents:


Fed by Threads (Co-Founder Alok Appadurai ’00): American-made clothing crafted from sustainable fabrics. Each item purchases 12 emergency meals for the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona! Perfect for the humanitarian fashionista who also values job creation, sustainability, and animal rights.

Brooklyn Industries (Co-founder and CEO Lexy Funk ’91):  A cutting-edge retailer that began with messenger bags made from recycled billboards and developed into a visionary brand dedicated to environmental preservation and sustainable design.

Eone Timepieces (Founder & CEO Hyungsoo Kim ’03): beautiful and functional timepieces for the visually impaired, as well as sighted people who’d like to check the time more discretely.

Superego Clothiers (Co-Founders James He ’11 (a.k.a. Jimmi Hundreds) and Tommie Lark Jr. ’12): a streetwear company working with hemp, organic cotton, bamboo and eucalyptus.

Fabindia (Managing Director William Bissell ’88): affordable clothing and household products made from natural and organic materials with traditional techniques and hand-based processes. The company was founded in order to market – and thus preserve – India’s diverse craft traditions by blending indigenous methods with contemporary styles.

Eco-Africa Social Ventures (President and CEO Mufaro Dube ’08 and Development Coordinator Lauren Sonnabend ’08): Beautiful paper crafts made by artisan communities in Zimbabwe. The organization also provides job training, child care, and increased access to education and health services. Every item purchased helps an artisan to support her family.


Belcampo Meat Company (CEO Anya Fernald ’98): a source of organic and humane meats with locations around California and an online store. Feed the environmentalist omnivores in your family.

Snowday by Drive Change (Founder Executive Director Jordyn Lexton ’08): a locally-sourced food truck that hires, teaches, and empowers formerly incarcerated youth in NYC. Get some maple grilled cheese with a side of social justice (and even more maple syrup on top).

Café UTEC (Executive Director Gregg Croteau ’93): a Workforce Development and Social Enterprise program at the United Teen Equality Center in Lowell, MA, where proven-risk teens learn to trade poverty and violence for peace and prosperity. Gregg has personally assured me that they’ve got the best roasted eggplant panini in the area.


Work on Purpose by Lara Galinsky ’96, Senior Vice President of Echoing Green: How do you build a career that’s personally satisfying and has a positive social impact? This book is full of resources and inspiration for recent grads or anyone contemplating a career change. Remember: Head + Heart = Hustle.

The Quarter-Life Breakthrough by Adam Smiley Poswolsky: an exhilarating manifesto for millennials seeking meaningful work. This is a great gift for aspiring changemakers who are ready to start taking risks, working hard, making a difference, and even enjoying themselves.

The Buddha Walks Into a Bar… (and later, Into the Office) by Lodro Rinzler ’05: turns lessons in Shambhala Buddhism into an accessible guide to approaching life with mindfulness and compassion.

Winning the Story Wars by Jonah Sachs ’97: a history and how-to of effective storytelling. Conceptualize your role in social media or the marketing industry as modern myth-making and value-shaping for our society — and don’t take that responsibility lightly.


Elevate Destinations (Dominique Callimanopulous ’81): a sustainable and philanthropic travel company providing personalized, environmentally-friendly, and socially-conscious trips for individuals, groups, and non-profits. Encourage your favorite globetrotters to swap their next carbon-intensive journey for a trip that supports natural environments and local cultures.

Of course, there are less tangible gifts that support the good work Wes alumni are doing. Volunteer work and donations are the lifeblood of any nonprofit. Consider giving to organizations like SHOFCO, the Minds Foundation, Brighter Dawns, and Maji Safi Group that are making waves around the world, or connect with other Wes-affiliated groups through the WAPPS LinkedIn group.

What are we missing? Send additions to Rosy Capron ’14 or in the comment section below.

WEServe is a worldwide week of service for the entire Wesleyan community. Students, alumni, faculty, staff, parents and grandparents, former employees, future students, and friends are invited to come together for activities that serve others. Projects can involve any number of participants and any kind of volunteer work, whether it’s traditional service, like assisting a school or food pantry, or something innovative that supports a local non-profit.

WEServe spans the end of Winter Break and the beginning of the spring semester, so people can plan projects in their hometowns, in Middletown, or wherever in the world they’re traveling. This is an especially good opportunity for graduates looking to connect with alumni in their area, or students who already miss their Wesleyan family (only 36 days left of break!).

Register your project by Wednesday, December 31, or sign up for someone else’s project by Friday, January 9.

More information: wesconnect.wesleyan.edu/weserve
Photos from previous WEServe projects: bit.ly/1AgIPuj

There is rarely a dull moment at Wesleyan – especially inside the Allbritton Center - and with so much activity happening right here on campus, it’s easy to overlook opportunities to learn outside of the Wes bubble. Throughout the year and around the world, there are countless conferences, institutes, bootcamps, meetups, and startup weekends focused on social entrepreneurship, and if you find one that fits your schedule and budget, it will prove pivotal to your personal and professional experience as a social changemaker.

With that in mind, we’d like to share some of the biggest and most well-known events taking place this year. The price tags must surprise you, but don’t let the sticker shock scare you away: undergrads can always apply for a Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship (PCSE) Enrichment Grant to help defray costs, and there may be other sources of funding out there, such as the WSA’s Student Budget Committee if the event is closely related to your work with a student group. The conferences often overlap with classes, but if you find yourself stranded on campus, you can usually follow along online for free.

We’re eager to hear your thoughts on these events and hear about others you have attended. If you plan to attend any events this fall, we may be able to arrange rideshares. Please add a comment below or contact Makaela Kingsley ’98, Director of the PCSE.


Social Capital Markets (SOCAP) SOCAP14
September 2-5, 2014
San Francisco, CA
$1395 (Read the reports from our two scholarship winners)
“SOCAP14 is the world’s leading conference on impact investing and social enterprise. Held in San Francisco, September 2-5, SOCAP14 will unite innovators in business, tech, the sharing economy, health, philanthropy, and more to advance environmental and social causes. This year’s theme, ‘Igniting Vibrant Communities,’ challenges us all to look for vibrant communities when seeking evidence of successful impact.”

Leading Change Summit Leading Change
September 3-6, 2014
San Francisco, CA
“Engage with diverse voices to ignite new ideas. Activate your strategies with expert advice and planning tools. Change the way you create impact… Exclusively for nonprofit leaders, this event offers three tracks to accelerate your career development: Impact Leadership, Digital Strategy, and the Future of Technology.”

Better World by Design Better by Design
September 19-21, 2014
Providence, RI
Students: $25 for one day, $45 for three days
Professionals: $175 for one day, $245 for three days
Free tickets available for volunteers
“Each year, Better World by Design brings a global community of innovators to Providence, Rhode Island to reach across disciplines and unite under a common goal: building a better world. Presenters share engaging stories, workshops teach creative skills, and discussions reframe perspectives. Better World is an immersive experience that deepens our understanding of the power of design, technology, and enterprise to engage our communities and sustain our environment.”

Social Good Summit Social Good Summit
September 21-22, 2014
New York, NY
$70 per day
“The Social Good Summit is a two-day conference examining the impact of technology and new media on social good initiatives around the world. Held during UN Week from September 21-22, the Social Good Summit unites a dynamic community of global leaders and grassroots activists to discuss solutions for the greatest challenges of our time.”
President Roth presented on the “Future of Education.”

Social Enterprise World Forum SEWF
October 14-16, 2014
Seoul, Korea
“The forum will look at how we can address social change specifically through examples of Social Innovation, Social Inclusion and Social Investment from some of the industry’s global leaders. This event will showcase innovative concepts for sustainable development and growth of social enterprise. It will also establish a strategy for social integration, the key driver for social value creation through social innovation and social enterprise.”

Kairos Global Summit Kairos
October 17-19 2014
Laguna Niguel, CA
“Young entrepreneurs and influential leaders gather to ask, ‘if you could focus the next generation of entrepreneurs on solving one problem, what would it be?’”
More information on registration coming soon.

PopTech PopTech
October 23-24, 2014
Camden, ME
“600 thought leaders in business, industry, science, technology, design, social and ecological innovation, the arts and humanities, philanthropy and other fields will convene to share ‘breakthrough ideas at the edge of change.’ The conference is designed to foster relationships and collaborations.”

Social Enterprise Conference by the Columbia Business School Columbia
October 31, 2014
New York, NY
“Help spark the conversation on driving sustainable change beyond the new millennium: How are companies successfully ingraining sustainability into the development of their corporate strategy and business practices? What are the challenges to harnessing the power of capital markets to create sustainable impact for the global community and environment? How can design thinking, new behavioral models, and socially-conscious marketing create the right incentives for lasting structural and systems-wide changes?”

Net Impact Conference net-impact-logo-1
November 6-8, 2014
Minneapolis, MN
Students: $429
“Engage with 350+ inspiring speakers from across sectors who are breaking new ground in social and environmental change. Learn from 100 sessions across 10 tracks – from Sustainable Food to International Development – designed to take your inspiration, innovation, and impact to the next level. Connect with 2,700 like-minded student and professional peers and thought leaders from our global Net Impact community.”

b5a59d_6618564bb25cdf8542b0a76c22b92380.png_srz_360_189_85_22_0.50_1.20_0Igniting Innovation Summit on Social Entrepreneurship
November 8, 2014
Harvard University
“The Igniting Innovation Summit unites students, academics, and leaders in the field who are passionate about developing innovative solutions to today’s most pressing problems. Over the past four years, the Summit has grown from a small-scale initiative of Harvard students to a nationally recognized forum for social change.”

cta_logo_used_in_letterheadFinger Lakes Social Entrepreneurship Institute
November 7-9, 2014
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
$200 (Scholarships available)
“Building on the success of the last two years, this Institute will feature tools that are essential to the success of a social venture, a keynote talk, plenary presentations with inspiring and innovative social entrepreneurs, a pitch session, a workshop on compassionate communication, and field trips that showcase transformative local efforts that are helping to create an ecological sound and socially just community that works for everyone.”

Student Community Engagement & Leadership Conferenceselfie.jpg2_-300x76
November 14, 2014
University of Connecticut – Storrs
“Connecticut Campus Compact (CTCC), in collaboration with its member campuses and strategic community partners including will hold its first annual student leadership one-day conference to create a dedicated space and platform for students who are committed to civic engagement, social justice, and social change. The 2014 theme of Beyond the Selfie: Linking Identity, Community, and Social Change is designed to provide a framework where students examine their motivations for service, enhance their understanding of social issues, and increase their capacity and skills to positively impact their campus and community.”

Lend for American Summit LFA
November 15-16, 2014
University of California, Berkeley
“The LFA Summit connects student leaders from across the country with national experts for a weekend of intensive training and peer learning. Through hands-on sessions that use real-life examples led by both students and professionals, attendees walk away with clear and ambitious plans for their Campus MFIs.”
LFA will also accept session proposals until September 21.

Social Entrepreneurship Institute
December 5, 2014
New Haven, CT
Students: $70
Non-Students: $90
Apply to present!
“The Social Entrepreneurship Institute will draw public health, social entrepreneurship, and education professionals and students for a focused, highly interactive and collaborative institute on quality, effective involvement in global health, social entrepreneurship, and international development. The expert speakers will offer key lessons, mentoring, and guidance about strategies that participants can apply to their work in global health, social entrepreneurship, international development, and education.”

Ashoka U Exchange AshokaU
February 26-28, 2015
University of Maryland, College Park, MD
Applications open now
Students: $475 (early bird rate)
Non-students: $650
“The Ashoka U Exchange is the world’s largest convening for social entrepreneurship in higher education. The Exchange brings together 650 university faculty, staff, and administrators representing 150 institutions to share new ways of teaching and learning that will shape the way educational institutions influence the world.”

Global Health and Innovation Conferenceglobal-health-innovation-conference-ghic-2012_500x286
March 28-29, 2015
New Haven, CT
Students: $130
Non-students: $185
Apply to present!
“The Global Health & Innovation Conference (#GHIC) is the world’s leading and largest global health conference as well as the largest social entrepreneurship conference, with 2,200 professionals and students from all 50 states and more than 55 countries. This must-attend, thought-leading conference convenes leaders, changemakers, and participants from all sectors of global health, international development, and social entrepreneurship.” We have blogged about this here.

Global Engagement Summitglobal-engagement-summit
April 15-19, 2015
Evanston, IL
Application due January 6, 2015
The Global Engagement Summit (GES) builds the capacity of the next generation of change-makers. By identifying young, talented, and driven individuals, providing them with skills training as well as connections to innovative thought leaders, GES empowers these individuals to produce responsible and sustainable solutions to shared global problems. In addition to tangible outcomes, resources, and opportunities, GES also strives to provide a forum for discussing critical issues and evaluating why we want to ‘do good well.’”

The school year has only just begun, but graduating students are already feeling the pressure to plan for the future. Although some organizations won’t start to pick from our fine stock of seniors until the spring or summer, it can be tough to shake off that gray cloud of post-grad uncertainty in the meantime. On top of concerns about making ends meet, Wesleyan students often hope to find “meaningful” work – to do good, not just well – and as a final cherry on this anxiety sundae, they may long for adventure and fear a tedious day-to-day.

Fortunately, there are several programs in the United States and around the world that invite graduates to work for social change and gain excellent professional experience. These opportunities, which have largely been modeled after the Peace Corps, often focus on service, but the model has recently been adapted for other kinds of valuable work in schools, nonprofits, startups, and beyond.

The stipends for these programs are generally modest, but what they lack in pay they make up for in other unique benefits. As alternatives to traditional entry-level positions, there is often an emphasis on breadth of experience, and participants are exposed to a wide array of tasks and skills, rather than a narrow range of responsibilities. The organizations generally value professional development and strive to provide mentorship, learning opportunities, and alumni networks. They may also take people quite literally off the beaten path, siphoning grads away from cities like New York, San Francisco, and D.C. and into lower-cost places around the country and the world. This temporary relocation is at the root of some of the criticism leveled at programs like Teach for America and the Peace Corps, but many people have also argued for the benefits of these placements for both volunteers or employees and their new communities.

We’ve assembled a list of programs offering 10 – 27 months of experience in a variety of fields. The list is hardly complete, as new programs seem to come up every year, and we have excluded teacher’s residency programs (like UTC and BTR) and many of the organizations that partner with AmeriCorps VISTA or receive grants around the United States. Check back for updates and please let us know if we’ve left out any good opportunities!

fcnlAdvocacy Corps
“The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) is calling on people ages 19 – 30 to join a network of young adults who will be paid to lead grassroots social justice campaigns across the U.S. to mobilize their communities to influence members of Congress. Approximately 15 applicants will be selected to take part in the year-long program, which will kick off with a 12-day Summer Intensive Training in August 2015 in Washington, D.C. Members of the network will be trained and supported by FCNL staff and volunteers across the country to achieve real policy goals and make concrete change”
Due April 1, 2015

AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps“AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps strengthens the Jewish community’s fight against the causes and effects of poverty in the United States. We do this by engaging participants in service and community building that inspire them to become lifelong leaders for social change whose work for justice is rooted in and nourished by Jewish values.”

B Corps Fellowship 
B Corps Fellows will be trained to work with thousands of companies to measure and manage the impact of their businesses on their workers, communities, and the environment with as much rigor as their profits.
Due December 31, 2014

Change Corps
“Change Corps is a training academy for activists — a one-year, paid, full-time, full-immersion training program in grassroots organizing that will give you the skills you need to make a difference on issues our generation cares about.”
Contact: Hannah Adams ’13 (Hannah@changecorps.org, 202-531-9195)

citizen-schools-logoCitizen Schools National Teaching Fellowship
“The Citizen Schools National Teaching Fellowship is a paid AmeriCorps national service opportunity for individuals dedicated to directly impacting the futures of middle school students in low income communities across America. Your commitment of two years of service grants students months of extra learning that translates into college readiness, career opportunity and the ability to achieve their dreams.”

City Year
“City Year is an education-focused, nonprofit organization that partners with public schools to help keep students in school and on track to graduate.” Corps members commit to 11 months of serving at a public school in the United States, South Africa, or England.
Next Deadline: February 15, 2014

logoCommunity Health Corps
“Community HealthCorps is the largest health-focused, national AmeriCorps program that promotes health care for America’s underserved, while developing tomorrow’s health care workforce… The vision of Community HealthCorps is to become a national service pipeline for careers in community health centers that is improving access to necessary primary and preventative care services for the medically underserved.”

“FoodCorps is a nationwide team of AmeriCorps leaders who connect kids to real food and help them grow up healthy. Through our partnership with AmeriCorps, we recruit, train and place emerging leaders into limited-resource schools for a year of service implementing our three-ingredient recipe for healthy kids.”
Application available January 9, 2015

gc-logoGreen Corps
“The mission of Green Corps is to train organizers, provide field support for today’s critical environmental campaigns, and graduate activists who possess the skills, temperament, and commitment to fight and win tomorrow’s environmental battles.”
Contact: Isabel Stern ’14 (Isabel@greencorps.org, 508-479-9424)

“HealthCorps Coordinators lead unique in-school and community programming designed to foster physical and mental fitness, particularly among high-need populations. The Coordinators serve as peer-mentors who deliver a progressive curriculum in nutrition, exercise and mental strength to students nationwide. For more than a decade, the HealthCorps program has inspired its participants to adopt a healthier lifestyle. And the HealthCorps schools have served as Living Labs through which we can explore the complex, underlying causes of the obesity crisis, as well as discover, communicate implement and advocate for national and regional solutions.”

JVC-LogoRev.4c-PC TIFFJesuit Volunteer Corps
“The Jesuit Volunteer Corps, in collaboration with the Society of Jesus, enhances the capacity of local organizations to serve their communities by providing Jesuit Volunteers to directly serve the poor and marginalized in the U.S. and developing countries. For a year or more Jesuit Volunteers live simply, in community, immersed in Ignatian Spirituality.”

logo-1LEAP Skills Academy Fellowship
“LEAP (Learning, Employability and Progress) is a skill development organisation headquartered in New Delhi. LEAP aims to bridge the gap between the skills that students have and those that employers require in order to hire them. LEAP will follow a regional approach and will provide life-long skills as well as sector specific skills to students allowing them to create careers of their own choice.”
More Info

AmeriCorps_logoLIFT AmeriCorps
“LIFT works to lift families in the United States out of poverty for good. We take a people-powered approach to fighting poverty: A network of Community Members, Advocates and Advisors work together to build the strong personal, social and financial foundations people need to get ahead. We have resource centers in neighborhoods in Boston, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and Los Angeles, where trained volunteers work with families to find a decent job, safe housing or a good education for themselves or their kids.”

newssectorResident in Social Enterprise (RISE) Fellowship at New Sector Alliance
“The New Sector AmeriCorps Residency in Social Enterprise (RISE) program is an 11-month fellowship program for emerging leaders committed to careers in social impact… Fellows serve full-time to strengthen nonprofit organizations, while engaging in intensive professional development activities to strengthen their skills for immediate and future impact.”
Round 2 Deadline: March 6, 2015
Contact: Alex Cantrell ’14 (alcantrell22@gmail.com)

peacecorps3Peace Corps
“As the preeminent international service organization of the United States, the Peace Corps sends Americans abroad to tackle the most pressing needs of people around the world. Peace Corps Volunteers work at the grassroots level toward sustainable change that lives on long after their service—at the same time becoming global citizens and serving their country.”

Volunteer-Travel-Princeton-In-AsiaPrinceton in Asia
“The essence of PiA is to provide transformative, service-oriented experiences for bright, talented graduates and to serve the needs of Asia as determined by our host institutions and Asian partners. PiA arranges fellowships and internships with Asian host organizations in the fields of education, health, international development, environmental advocacy, journalism, engineering, technology, law and business.”
Deadline: November 14, 2014

public-allies-profilePublic Allies
“Public Allies’ mission is to advance new leadership to strengthen communities, nonprofits and civic participation… The Public Allies signature AmeriCorps Ally Program identifies diverse young adults and prepares them for leadership through paid full-time nonprofit apprenticeships and rigorous leadership training.”
Deadlines vary by location.

Screen shot 2014-10-28 at 7.31.43 AMPULSE
“We invite talented university graduates to partner with Pittsburgh nonprofits to develop the next generation of servant leaders in our city. Nonprofit partners receive a young, talented, university graduate to build capacity in their organization while participants receive valuable job training and skill development.”
Due March 1, 2015

300x200xtfa-300x200.jpg.pagespeed.ic.WFPYA7CV8OTeach for America
“TFA is a national teacher corps of college graduates and professionals who commit to teach for two years and raise student achievement in public schools.”
Due January 30, 2015

Venture for America
“Venture for America will recruit the best and brightest college grads to work for two years at emerging start-ups and early-stage companies in lower-cost cities (e.g., Detroit, Providence, New Orleans). Modeled after Teach for America, Venture for America will provide a path for entrepreneurship to college grads who want to learn how to build companies and create jobs.”
Next Deadline: January 12, 2015

Villers Fellowship for Health Care Justice 
“The Villers Fellowship for Health Care Justice was created in 2005 by Philippe Villers, founder and President of Families USA, to inspire and develop the next generation of health care justice leaders. The goal of the Villers Fellowship program is three-fold: to develop a network of young leaders who share a passion for social and health care justice; to inspire Villers Fellows to continue working for health care justice throughout their lives; to help achieve Families USA’s goal of guaranteed, high-quality, affordable health care for all of us.”
Due January 23, 2015

Wellstone Fellowship hNCEhxJm
The Wellstone Fellow’s primary responsibilities include drafting talking points, blogs, fact sheets, and other publications, as well as developing content for the Families USA website and email lists that promotes health equity and the reduction and elimination of disparities in health and health care. During the year, the fellow will learn about health reform implementation, health equity, the private insurance market, health system improvement, and other important health policy issues. At the same time, the Wellstone Fellow will develop an understanding of the tactics and strategies used in state-based consumer health advocacy organizations.”
Due February 6, 2015

yp4-fullYoung People For
“The Young People For fellowship is a leadership development program focusing on identifying, engaging and empowering young progressive leaders. The one-year fellowship equips college students with the skills and resources necessary to create lasting change on their campuses and in their communities.”
Due February 7, 2015
Contact: Gabriela De Golia ’13 (gdegolia@wesleyan.edu)



An excellent learning opportunity from Ed Ungvarsky ’90:

The Northern Virginia Capital Defender Office represents men and woman who are charged with capital murder and are facing the possibility of the death penalty. Together, a team of lawyers, mitigation specialists, fact investigators, mental health professionals, and other experts expends its best efforts to secure our clients the best possible outcome of their cases and, minimally, to avoid a death sentence.

We are in court frequently and raise many creative legal challenges to the proceedings. We also investigate as fully and broadly as possible. We investigate both the guilt-innocence phase of the trial as well as the penalty phase, looking for reasons that our clients’ lives should be spared. The investigations take place all over Virginia, other states, and internationally.

The work of the full-time members of the defense team is supported by volunteer lawyers, law students, graduate students in forensic psychology and social work, and (sometimes) undergraduate students.

This winter, we are looking for a current student who is interested in externing with us for a week or two in January.

Full details can be found on Career Drive.

“The more books I read, the more I can expand my conception of who I am and who I want to be.”
- Roy Trotter, 2011 Cohort at Cheshire Correctional


Every semester, the Center for Prison Education buys all the materials necessary for each student to take full advantage of their college experience. We buy their course books, textbooks, notebooks, calculators, pens, and pencils, so that students will not have to incur any costs while enrolled at the Center. 

This holiday season, we are asking you to help make sure our students have all they need for next semester.
Visit our Reading List and buy course books for a CPE Student!  It’s a quick and easy way to support your fellow Wesleyan students and the Center for Prison Education.

Photo from majisafigroup.org

The Maji Safi Group (MSG) is an NGO working for disease prevention and health promotion in Shirati, Tanzania. The organization has hosted interns from Wesleyan in the past, including PCSE grantee Faye Phillips ’13. Co-founder Max Perel-Slater ’11 – a recipient of the Christopher Brodigan Award and Advancing Leadership Fellowship – has written in with two exciting opportunities for Wesleyan students.

Due to financial constraints of the organization MSG cannot offer a stipend to interns. The intern will be responsible to pay for their airfare, domestic travel expenses, as well as room and board. Interns will be able to stay at the MSG hostel located in Shirati, Tanzania and near the MSG office for a cost of $15 per day. Students should seek funding from the Wesleyan Summer Experience Grants, the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship, and other sources. To apply to either internship, submit your resume and cover letter through CareerDrive by February 2, 2015. The letter should be addressed to Mr. Max Perel-Slater and explain your interest in volunteering for Maji Safi and how you would be able to fulfill the internship goals.

GIS Mapping Intern

MSG is interested in creating maps of the impact of our programs in the local community as well as visual representations of contamination routes and water usage sources and delivery patterns.  They seek a hard working, independent, and open-minded intern to work with the Tanzanian team on mapping. This internship will provide practical experience working abroad in a small nonprofit setting. The intern will work directly with MSG staff, community health workers, and the local community. An ideal candidate will have experience with GIS/ArcMap and with traveling and living internationally.

Radio Program Intern

This year MSG started a district-wide weekly disease prevention radio show. MSG Community Health Workers present lessons on healthy living and how to prevent disease as well as answer questions from the community. The radio show serves a population of roughly 250,000 people. To see the radio show in action, check out the video about 2014 Global Hand Washing Day here: http://vimeo.com/110030528

The intern will work directly with MSG staff, community health workers, and Tanzanian radio producers. An ideal candidate will have experience with radio production and with traveling and living internationally.

CoCo Chair Lizzie Shackney ’17 was selected to receive an Enrichment Grant from the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship to attend the Igniting Innovation Summit at Harvard last month. You can read Lizzie’s story below, and visit the PCSE website to learn more about our grant programs.


On November 7, I attended the Igniting Innovation Summit on Social Entrepreneurship at Harvard. The speaker list sounded interesting, I liked the idea of getting of campus for a day, and I thought it would be a good experience to meet other people who were interested in the broad concept of “social entrepreneurship,” but most of all, I wanted to be inspired. When people ask me what I plan on majoring in or what I want to “be when I grow up,” I usually respond with an exasperated, “I have no idea.” But that’s not really true.

I have an idea of what I want to be when I grow up, but it’s mostly just that: an idea. I know that I want to have a career that has a positive impact on the world. I know that I want to be a part of a team of people that has that same desire, and I know which of my past experiences I most want to base my future off of. If anything, the summit gave me some direction. It was also a space for me to think about my goals, and for me to take the skills and advice of professionals and bring them back to the activities that I engage with here at Wesleyan.

First, we heard from Deepa Subramaniam, who is the Director of Product at charity: water. She talked about what the organization does and the intense need for clean and safe drinking water, especially in the developing world. She shared what makes it special as a charity organization (their 100% model, the proof they provide to those who donate that they’ve made a real impact), and how they have made themselves into an innovative non-profit. She also talked about her own career path, and how she left her successful career at Adobe to work at charity: water.

Then, we heard from Rachel Chong, the Founder and CEO of Catchafire, a highly successful volunteer platform that links those with skill to volunteer projects in need of help. Similar to Subramaniam, she started out with a more corporate career, working for Shell and then on Wall Street, so that she could understand how these companies and firms work from the inside. She encouraged the summit-goers to keep their passion for creating change alive throughout their careers.

I found it interesting that both of these opening keynotes had worked in corporate roles before switching over to the non-profit world; I realized that I’ve heard this story many times before. I assume that the skills and resources acquired in the for-profit world can contribute to a person’s success in the non-profit world, but I also hear them say that they hadn’t felt fulfilled in the for-profit world. I suppose that both of those factors contribute to the switch.

Next, we attended our first panel discussion. I went to a panel called “Mothers Matter: Innovations in Maternal Health in the Global Context,” where I heard from three public health-related professionals. All of their work involved using technology to make women’s health services more accessible, either through mobile apps or telemedicine. All of the panelists did most of their work in developing countries, and one did additional research in the United States. I thought a lot about the maternal health issues in the United States, such as high premature birth rates, lack of pre-natal care for poorer mothers, and inaccessibility to health options, such as abortion. The panel definitely re-sparked my interest in maternal health and the rights of pregnant women in a domestic sense; it reminded me that there is much to be done in the United States.

After lunch, we heard from the chief emerging payments officer of MasterCard, and then from my favorite keynote, Doug Rauch, the President Emeritus of Trader Joe’s. He was funny and genuine, and talked about how non-profits are still businesses. Business is about solving problems, and non-profits solve problems. He talked about motivation, and showed a picture of yogurt on the screen. “It’s not yogurt,” he said, “it’s culture.” How do you create a culture of motivation and innovation, a culture of trust? That’s the challenge.

Success, he argued, has a lot to do with failure. It’s important to create an environment in which it’s a really great thing to fail and share those failures. Innovation can’t happen without failure, and so it’s all about finding the best ways to fail, and then getting right back up again. Learn, share, and come back to your purpose: when you can celebrate and understand these principles, you can also embrace innovation.

Overall, I thought that the day went very well. The food was great, the speakers were even better, and I left feeling motivated and focused. I had asked myself questions about where I wanted to go and how I could improve my own leadership within my activities and classes on campus. I’m grateful to the Patricelli Center for funding this experience, and would recommend that more students take the time to get off of campus, if at the very least to get refocused.

Hannah with PCSE Advisory Board member, Marcus Chung '98. Marcus is Vice President for Social Responsibility & Vendor Compliance at The Children's Place and a former board member for Net Impact.

Hannah with PCSE Advisory Board member, Marcus Chung ’98. Marcus is Vice President for Social Responsibility & Vendor Compliance at
The Children’s Place and a former board member for Net Impact.

This past November, I attended the Net Impact Conference in Minneapolis, MN. Net Impact is a nonprofit whose mission is to “empower a generation to drive social and environmental change on campus or throughout their careers.” With over 2,700 people in attendance, the Net Impact Conference was full of enlightening discussions both onstage and off, with topics ranging from Monsanto’s perpetuation of GMO usage to the definition of social enterprise. The conference was a great place to network, attend interactive sessions/workshops, and meet a diverse range of people all striving to create positive social change in the world.

In no particular order, these are my top five moments from the 2014 Net Impact conference:

1. Opening keynote with Dan Pallotta

For those of you who haven’t seen Dan Pallotta’s TED talk “The way we think about charity is dead wrong,” I’d like you to stop reading my blog post and go watch it right now! Dan’s opening keynote at the conference was a longer, updated version of his TED talk, which describes the misconceptions and faulty paradigms that limit innovation and the capacity to create social impact in the nonprofit sector.

2. Roundtable discussions with leaders from Kiva and Village Capital

One of my favorite parts of the conference was the variety of mediums used for breakout sessions. These included traditional panels, roundtable discussions and interactive workshops. One roundtable session I attended focused on complications in international development. I ended up in a small group discussing how to build a successful microfinance organization with Cynthia McMurry, Regional Director of Latin America and the Caribbean at Kiva, and debating the definition of social enterprise with Rob Lalka, Director of Strategy and Partnerships at Village Capital.

3. Sein Lengeju

I met many incredible people at the conference. One of my most memorable conversations was with Sein Lengeju, a woman from rural Kenya who survived female genital mutilation (FGM), got her Masters in Social Work at Wichita State University, and has dedicated her life to ending FGM and providing educational opportunities to girls from her tribe (the Massai) in Kenya. Sein told me the powerful story of how she used her cultural understanding to stand up to tribal leaders and convince them that the practice of FGM should be stopped.

4. There were so many students!

This isn’t really a moment, but I loved that there were so many students who attended the conference. Every other person I met was an MBA student or undergraduate from schools all over North America. The conference hosted “Career and Professional Development” sessions and happy hours geared towards students and young professionals. And as someone who is interested in getting an MBA, I relished the opportunity to pick the brains of students currently attending some of the best business schools in the country. Moreover, Net Impact had an Expo featuring 90 companies, nonprofits, and organizations that were actively recruiting. I was able to connect with representatives and staff from organizations ranging from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to Opportunity Finance Network to Target.

5. The closing party.

After an inspiring ending keynote featuring journalist Sheryl WuDunn, CEO of Happy Family Shazi Visram, and livestock industry consultant and animal science professor Temple Grandin, I made my way to the conference’s closing party. One highlight was meeting up with Wes alum Marcus Chung ‘98, the VP of Social Responsibility and Vendor Reliance at The Children’s Place. Marcus had convinced me to come to the Net Impact conference during an informational interview a couple months prior. Thank you, Marcus, for persuading me to attend! During the closing party, I also spoke with business students about their innovative ideas for social enterprises, talked with Ian Fisk, Executive Director of Mentor Capital Network, about social enterprise, and chatted with Shazi Visram about running a environmentally and socially conscious $100 million B Corporation. It was a fitting end to a memorable weekend.


Hannah Lewis ’13 has participated in a variety of Allbritton Center programs since she was an undergraduate. After attending the Social Capital Markets (SOCAP) conference this fall, she was inspired to seek out a volunteer ticket to the 2014 Net Impact conference. Hannah recently concluded the Princeton in Latin America Fellowship and will soon begin a job at TDC, a non-profit consulting firm in Boston.

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