Written by Lydia Guo
It’s hard to change the world while deep in coursework and hunting for internships, but the Social Impact Council is here to help. Founded this past June, SIC is a working committee comprised of concerned and involved undergraduate students who fulfill a crucial, on the ground advisory role for the Social Impact administration.
SIC hopes to fill a niche for social impact that has largely been disconnected from traditional Stern interests. This initiative differs from existing impact clubs by acting as a comprehensive resource and community available to all social impact interests, looking to change the way Stern students view and participate in social impact. For example, while Stern Cares is focused on volunteering and Net Impact concentrates on the role of social impact in business, SIC will act as the umbrella and plans on working with them in tandem on anything impact-related to support the common goal of spreading interest and participation in social impact.
Although SIC is a new organization, its essence has been sought out by classes of Stern students prior to its founding. Class of 2012 alumna Sabira Lakhani, who launched an iteration of SIC during her time at Stern, noted the importance of community around social impact at Stern.
“We identified with each other and with members of the faculty and administration,” Ms. Lakhani commented. “We became friends during our efforts to make social impact a standard part of the student experience. These people are some of the most inspiring I met at NYU.”
On September 26, SIC ushered in its inaugural semester with the Social Impact Showcase, an event where students who have participated in Stern social impact programming shared their experiences. Students exhibited work completed through Stern International Volunteers, the Social Solutions Project Lab, and more. For instance, Social Impact Stipend recipients discussed experiences ranging from helping a hospital develop a mobile application for tracking illnesses to founding a nonprofit dedicated to alleviating domestic hunger.
The event allowed SIC members to show their passion for the progress of social impact. Sumi Singh, a member of SIC’s publicity committee, cited the work of the Grameen Bank and of microfinance to empower communities as a reason for her involvement, saying, “Their efforts inspire me to truly make an impact, and the Social Impact Council is a good way to start in my own school.”
This coming year, the SIC hopes to become more prominent on campus and let students know that social impact is a realistic extracurricular and career opportunity.