Getting into Social Impact

It wasn’t until my first year of college that I became interested in social impact.  I was actively involved in service and volunteer work, but not until my favorite band Switchfoot got involved with an anti-human trafficking project–Call and Response–did I ever consider just how big and complex the world of social impact can be.

After finding out about modern slavery, I quickly found myself taking risks I would never have considered.  After only a few months I found myself starting a club on campus dedicated to combating human trafficking, starting an adventure full of attempts, failures, marginal successes, and a ton of learning.  I still remember our first fundraiser where we showed a couple documentaries, sold tickets for $2.00 each, and raised $72.00 to send to Free the Slaves.  Like many nonprofit organizations, I think we felt some sort of fulfillment due to our efforts, but so far from satisfied by such a dismal result.  Thankfully, I had help from the beginning.

I was fortunate to have great mentors through my journey.  I volunteered with an incredible man as part of the service group of Honors students.  The leader at the time had a great passion for social impact, especially of the entrepreneurial and innovative sort.  From the beginning I was taught which classes to take and what initiatives to join to establish myself in some pieces of the world of social impact.

This same incredible mentor later formalized his place as a guide for me by offering me a “Social Innovation Fellowship”,  meaning he would mentor and council me on how to set myself up to make the most impact possible, and know how to help people in the right ways.  He would be available to open doors, and teach me what doors I can open (and which ones are worth leaving closed.)

As part of the Fellowship, I was invited to be a part of our pilot group on how to do good better.  What a blessing to be able to stand with other great “movers and shakers” as I find and establish my place in the world of social impact.