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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.
Thank you again for your continued support of Nourish International! I wanted to let you know about a successful student project that recently wrapped up in Guatemala and give you some other Nourish updates.
In Guatemala, students from the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of Texas at Austin worked together to bring financial independence to women in El Jicaro through the sale of unique soaps and shampoos.
Nourish students worked with women who were previously “economically inactive” to give them the sales, marketing and financial skills necessary to sell a product, manage revenues and contribute to family income.
To read more about the student project in Guatemala from Lidia Hernandez, UCLA student project leader, check out the attachment below and our student blogs at http://nourishinternational.org/blog.
Back in Chapel Hill, the National Office is continuing to gear up for our annual Summer Institute, a five-day conference that prepares students for the challenges they will face throughout the year.
We are pleased to present Jessica Jackley, co-founder of Kiva.org, as the Summer Institute keynote speaker. Individual tickets to the keynote speech and accompanying banquet on August 9th are available online at www.nourishinternational.org/keynote.
Last but not least, Nourish is having a dessert event in Charlotte on July 30th. “Nourish Your Sweet Tooth” will feature desserts from Crave Dessert Bar in Charlotte. Proceeds will benefit the mission of Nourish International. RSVP today, http://nourishinternational.org/dessert/. We hope to see you there!
Once again, thank you for your support. It is only with the generous donations from people like you, that Nourish is able to lead successful projects like the one in Guatemala all over the world!
As a donor, your feedback is important to Nourish, so we encourage you to respond to this update.
I am writing to update you on Nourish International's progress, so you can see the impact your donation has had on our work.
As you know, for the past three weeks Nourish has been participating in GlobalGiving's American Open Challenge. Because of you, we have raised $3,730! These funds will go towards expanding the work that Nourish International accomplishes through our students.
This summer, Nourish has sent more than 50 students and $45,000 to partner with 9 different communities across the world.
Our students are taking part in a wide array of projects ranging from facilitating the production of organic scrubs in Mali to constructing an arts and culture training center in Mexico.
Meanwhile, the Nourish National Office is preparing for the Summer Institute in August, where students from 10 new universities will receive the entrepreneurial training necessary to run successful Nourish Chapters on their campuses. This school year, Nourish International will be working through students on 30 university campuses to contribute to our mission to end global poverty.
The American Open challenge ends today, and we are just $270 from reaching our goal to remain on the GlobalGiving website. So please consider donating again, or tell someone about this competition and the opportunities it presents for Nourish to expand on our goals.
As a donor, your feedback is important to Nourish, so we encourage you to respond to this update. Again, we greatly appreciate your support.
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