Earlier in 2017, our sister organization Root Impact was awarded a grant by Google.org to launch Impact Ventures, which is an internship matching program between young Changemakers and social enterprises in South Korea. In 2018, Communitas America had an opportunity to launch a pilot of Impact Career with the Zahn Innovation Center of City College of New York in Harlem.
The City College of New York is a public university that serves many underserved youth from around NYC. Many of these same students travel upwards of an hour to attend class and work part time jobs to support their families as well. The City College is also home of the Zahn Innovation Center, which incubates and supports student entrepreneurs through workshops, hackathons, and accelerator programs that utilize design thinking and the lean startup method to introduce students to the world of startups.
In the Spring of 2018, we launched the first pilot of Impact Ventures. Over 60 students applied and 10 were chosen to be matched with a paid 10 week internship at a Social Enterprise. These social enterprises included Echoing Green, Teach for America, and SecondMuse, which runs the NYC FutureWorks program. The students also went through a 2 day social impact Bootcamp taught by Jana La Sorte of Ambassadora where they learned about social entrepreneurship and factors of a career in the field.
For the summer the students will meet up every two weeks at one of five of the social enterprises to learn more about different organizations as well as participate in a workshop to further develop their professional skills.
Communitas America is excited to see how the training and experience will affect the students in their decision of their future careers and lives as Changemakers. We believe programs like Impact Career are essential because it allows students the opportunity to experience an internship in a social enterprise where they can utilize their skills for the benefit of the world. We believe in a world where everyone is a Changemaker and Impact Career helps students on that path.