Night Time Nourish
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Chapter Spotlight—Miami University in Oxford, Ohio
Balancing exams, college classes and extracurriculars can be tough. Throw in eradicating global poverty, and you’ve got more than a full load.
But Nourish International Chapter Leaders Ashley Miller and Sama Alkalaf have figured out how to balance it all, founding and leading their Chapter at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Only in its first year, their Chapter has had great success.
Sama and Ashley began making plans to start a Nourish Chapter at Miami University in the spring. Throughout the summer, they worked hard to get the paperwork and clearance they needed both from their university and from the Nourish International National Office to gain organizational status. They designed a logo and held phone conferences with students who were interested in joining.
“I wanted to do something meaningful to me, something that I knew I may not have any other chance in my life to do,” said Sama, about starting a Chapter at Miami.
The girls next formed a strong executive committee of 8 qualified members, and Sama headed to the Summer Institute in Chapel Hill, N.C. The Summer Institute is a 5-day conference that provides Chapter Leaders with the training they will need for a successful year.
“I don’t think I could have started a Chapter without the Summer Institute,” said Sama. “It gave me resources, documents and examples of past Venture successes and failures that were helpful in starting up.”
Entrepreneurship at Work
Now with more than 40 regular attending students at weekly meetings, Miami’s Nourish International Chapter is running full steam ahead. Ashley and Sama decided that the most effective leadership would be to formulate committees amongst their members.
“We wanted to give people ownership of Nourish, so that they would stay involved and keep coming back,” said Sama.
Committees include Awareness, Finance, Ventures, Projects, and Marketing, each with their own set of goals and responsibilities. The Chapter’s Venture Committee has already run three successful ventures.
“Our Ventures Committee consists of 15-20 students who have really stepped up and made this organization,” said Ashley.
The first Venture was a partnership with Coldstone Creamery to hold a buyout night. On the evening of Oct. 22, 30 percent of Coldstone’s proceeds went to support the efforts of the Miami Nourish Chapter and their projects abroad.
A second Miami Venture is Nighttime Nourish, a spinoff from the popular Hunger Lunch. Students involved in the Miami Chapter sold grilled cheese sandwiches in a high traffic area from 10 p.m.-2 a.m. targeting students on the look out for late night snacks. The Chapter partnered with the university’s Residence Hall Association for food donations, making the Venture proceeds pure profit for the Chapter. Miami already has three more Nighttime Nourish late night meals planned and a partnership with Jimmy John’s for sub sandwiches.
Miami’s most successful Venture was the university’s annual Pledge a Meal event, where university students donate money through their campus meal plan to a local food bank. The Chapter was persistent in their efforts to collaborate with Pledge a Meal to raise awareness about hunger on an international scale. The persistence paid off, and the Chapter was able to raise more than $2,700 from the Pledge a Meal event.
Looking to the Future
Miami University has already accomplished so much in such a short time as a first year Chapter. The Projects committee has begun looking at partner organizations and potential Projects that Miami could fund this summer. Narrowing it down to their top three choices, they are committed to completing a project in their first year. Two projects are in Guatemala, and one is located in Uganda.
Even with such a full load, Ashley, Sama and the Miami Nourish Chapter are passing this test with flying colors.