The Jenzabar Foundation

Global Change Through Student Leadership


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Tricia Hohnl Transforms From Small Town Girl to World-Changer at MCC15

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In the summer of 2015, student leader Tricia from Mount Mary University, Wisconsin, joined Millennium Campus Network (MCN) at its seventh annual Millennium Campus Conference (MCC)—MCC15—at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters in New York City. MCC15 was the most comprehensive and impactful MCC yet and connected over 450 student leaders and change-makers from over 50 countries. A grant from The Jenzabar Foundation enabled Hohnl and 94 other student leaders to partake in the five-day conference.

“I went into the conference with little knowledge of what to expect, but MCC15 was an experience that changed my life!” says Hohnl.

Founded in 2007 by student leaders Sam Vaghar and Seth Werfel, MCN’s mission is to “train the next generation of global development leaders to rethink the paradigms that perpetuate inequality, promote a human-centric and collaborative approach, and transform dialogue into action.” MCN programs are intended to nurture essential values such as empathy, humility and service. Upon these principles, MCN created MCC, a thriving conference for young world-changers.

Hohnl felt out of her element in the beginning. “Being from a very small town in the Wisconsin, New York was a change to say the least,” she says.

The conference was as jarring as the city at first. “My friend and I sat in a room full of people who seemed to be way more successful than ourselves. They have started their own nonprofits and were making a difference in the world. And there we were, two girls from Wisconsin whose biggest accomplishment was getting to New York on a plane by ourselves.”

As the conference went on, though, Hohnl and her friend grew more comfortable and realized that the potential for making a difference in the world was in them, too.

“We were meeting people from all over the world who had something to say and were willing to listen to our small stories,” says Hohnl. “We ended up meeting two girls from South Africa who started a nonprofit for women empowerment called ‘In Our Shoes.’” Hohnl and her friend were so inspired by In Our Shoes that they joined the campaign.

“We have monthly meetings to discuss things that can empower women,” says Hohnl. “We recently just had our first international web chat and discussed each other’s progress. On our campus, we have various clubs and organizations working on projects and have written several articles about them for the school magazine. Now we can call ourselves the successful people who are making a difference!”

It’s fair to say that MCC15 changed the trajectory of Hohnl’s life. “Without this amazing opportunity of going to MCC15, my friend and I would still be two girls from a small town in Wisconsin. Now, we are young professionals working globally to make a change in our world. I am so thankful to The Jenzabar Foundation for making this trip a reality for me and many other students!”

Tricia Hohnl HeadshotStudent Leader Tricia Hohnl

To learn about this year’s conference, MCC16, at Howard University in Washington D.C., taking place August 1st-5th, please visit http://www.mcc16.org. To learn more about MCC15 at the United Nations and other MCN programs, visit the MCN’s webpage at http://www.mcnpartners.org/.

 

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Nissa Jane Parker Learns to Rally Fellow Environmental Activists at MCC15

08-14-15-185.jpgIn the summer of 2015, student leader Nissa Jane Parker from Beloit College, Wyoming,  joined Millennium Campus Network (MCN) at its  seventh annual Millennium Campus Conference (MCC)—MCC15—at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters in New York City. MCC15 was the most comprehensive MCC yet and connected over 450 student leaders and change-makers from over 50 countries. A grant from The Jenzabar Foundation enabled Parker and 94 other student leaders to partake in the five-day conference.

“My main focus is environmental problems, particularly climate change,” says Parker. “I have struggled to understand how you rally a large group of people around a cause. MCC15 gave me exactly the skills I need to do that. I have spent a significant portion of this fall semester working on campus sustainability projects, employing the techniques MCC gave me to make projects more successful.”

Founded in 2007 by student leaders Sam Vaghar and Seth Werfel, MCN’s mission is to “train the next generation of global development leaders to rethink the paradigms that perpetuate inequality, promote a human-centric and collaborative approach, and transform dialogue into action.” MCN created MCC to bring together hundreds of these global development leaders in a spirit of learning and collaboration.

“MCC15 was also a great networking opportunity that allowed me to connect with like-minded individuals from all over the world,” says Parker. “Above all, MCC15 inspired me to take a leadership position in my community and I believe that is the most valuable thing I could have learned.”

MCC15 featured the conference’s most notable international leaders and activists yet, including H.E. Mr. Mogens Lykketoft, the President of the UN General Assembly; Dr. Vanessa Kerry, Founder and CEO of Seed Global Health; Terry Crews, Hollywood actor and gender equality activist; Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University; Richard Stengel, Under Secretary of the U.S. Department of State; and Lakshmi Puri, Assistant Secretary-General of the UN.

“I am honored to have simply been in the same room as many of the keynote speakers, let alone hear them speak on issues I care deeply about,” says Parker. “I had a wonderful time at MCC15.  I am greatly appreciative of the generosity the Jenzabar Foundation showed me.”

To learn about this year’s conference, MCC16, at Howard University in Washington D.C., taking place August 1st-5th, please visit http://www.mcc16.org. To learn more about MCC15 at the United Nations and other MCN programs, visit the MCN’s webpage at http://www.mcnpartners.org/.


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Dava Donaldson Develops Global Network of Likeminded World Changers at MCC15

20150813_153234In the summer of 2015, student leader Dava Donaldson from Defiance College, Ohio, joined Millennium Campus Network (MCN) at its seventh annual Millennium Campus Conference (MCC)—MCC15—at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters in New York City. MCC15 was the most comprehensive MCC yet and connected over 450 student leaders and change-makers from over 50 countries. A grant from The Jenzabar Foundation enabled Donaldson and 94 other student leaders to partake in the five-day conference.

“As a senior International Studies major at Defiance College, I have had various opportunities to travel; conduct community-based research; and present my research to professionals in governmental, non-profit, and political science fields,” says Donaldson. “However, not until MCC15 have I had a true opportunity to network with students from all over the world with the same mission: to positively impact the world and be a catalyst for change.”

Founded in 2007 by student leaders Sam Vaghar and Seth Werfel, MCN’s mission is to “train the next generation of global development leaders to rethink the paradigms that perpetuate inequality, promote a human-centric and collaborative approach, and transform dialogue into action.” MCN created MCC to bring together hundreds of these global development leaders in a spirit of learning and collaboration.

“In addition to meeting like-minded students, I was exposed to various organizations, even ones with on-campus chapters,” says Donaldson. “I also gained a better understanding of what the United Nations is doing to ensure a sustainable future through the Sustainable Development Goals that were recently adopted.”

For over six years, The Jenzabar Foundation has had the honor of supporting MCN, and students like Dava are the reason why. “This opportunity would not have been possible without the financial assistance of the Jenzabar Foundation,” says Donaldson. “It is incredible to see that there are generous organizations and corporations that are committed to seeing the goals and dreams of our generation come to life. By attending MCC15, I have gained new insight of the world and social justice causes that have been started by college students, and reaffirmed my commitment to helping the world thrive.”

To learn about MCC16 at the Howard University in Washington D.C., taking place August 1st-5th, please visit http://www.mcc16.org. To learn more about MCC15 at the UN and other MCN programs, visit the MCN’s webpage at http://www.mcnpartners.org/.


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A Jenzabar Foundation Grant Success! – Millennium Campus Network

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“Incredible Selfie” at United Nations Headquarters with the 2015 Global Generation Award Winner, actor and activist Terry Crews, and Millennium Delegates from over 50 nations. [Photo credit: Alexander Star. Visit MCN’s Facebook page for more photos.] 

In the summer of 2015, the Millennium Campus Network (MCN) hosted its 7th annual Millennium Campus Conference (MCC)—MCC15—at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters in New York City. The most impactful MCC yet, MCC15 allowed over 450 student leaders and change-makers from over 50 countries to connect, learn, and amplify a generation’s voice. The Jenzabar Foundation helped by providing scholarships to 95 student leaders to participate in the 5-day conference.

Founded in 2007 by student leaders Sam Vaghar and Seth Werfel, MCN’s mission is to “train the next generation of global development leaders to rethink the paradigms that perpetuate inequality, promote a human-centric and collaborative approach, and transform dialogue into action.” MCN offers programs that they say are “comprehensive and geared toward building the skills and experiences future leaders will need to increase their impact and solidify their career path.” These programs also nurture essential values such as empathy, humility and service. Upon these principles, MCN created MCC, a thriving conference for young world-changers.

During MCC15, attendees engaged in workshops, small group discussions, debates, and keynote plenaries with international leaders and activists including H.E. Mr. Mogens Lykketoft, the President of the United Nations General Assembly; Dr. Vanessa Kerry, Founder and CEO of Seed Global Health; Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University; Richard Stengel, Under Secretary of the U.S. Department of State; and Lakshmi Puri, Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Keynote speaker Shin Fujiyama, Co-Founder & Executive Director of the Students Helping Honduras, inspired attendees, saying, “After staying up late reading multiple books, there was one inspiring message the books all had in common: ‘Ordinary people can make a difference in the world!’”

MCC15 attendees had the opportunity to join prize-winning campaigns on global challenges launched at the conference. In addition, The Jenzabar Foundation convened university administrators and national organization leaders for a special Institutional Track, and Jenzabar Foundation Executive Director John Beahm honored Terry Crews, Hollywood actor and gender equality activist, at the annual MCC awards ceremony.

Jenzabar Foundation scholarship recipient, Ruthfirst Eva Ayande, shared that, “As a master’s student from a low-middle income country interested in equality, education, and environmental sustainability, MCC15 was an initiation into a lifetime career in advocacy in those three areas. This was especially because the conference’s themes revolved around the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that were recently adopted by all member states of the United Nations.” Another recipient, Taylor Kate Mills, said, “MCC15 inspired me to discover potential in myself that I previously did not even know I was capable of…I left the conference grateful, humbled, and excited for a future where I and my peers will all work together in improving a stronger global society.”

For over six years, The Jenzabar Foundation has had the honor of supporting MCN. The Jenzabar Foundation has provided MCN with office space since May 2010. Jenzabar Foundation founder Bob Maginn serves on MCN’s Board of Advisors and Executive Director John Beahm serves on the Board of Directors. The Jenzabar Foundation has even connected MCN with influential friends such as Dr. Kevin Ross, President of Lynn University, who now serves on MCN’s Board of Directors. Additionally, several of the student groups in the MCN network have received Student Leadership Awards from the Jenzabar Foundation.

To learn more about MCC15 at the United Nations and other MCN programs, visit the MCN’s webpage at http://www.mcnpartners.org/.  To learn about MCC16 at the Howard University in Washington D.C., taking place August 1st-5th, please visit http://www.mcc16.org.


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A Jenzabar Foundation Grant Success! – From Caldwell University

Caldwell University Students Exercise Passion into Action through the DREAMS Leadership Program

Founded in 1939 by the Sisters of Saint Dominic, Caldwell University (CU) strives to promote intellectual, spiritual, and aesthetic growth in a diverse community. Upon these principles, Caldwell created a daring new program.

In the spring of 2015, a grant from the Jenzabar Foundation allowed Caldwell University to launch the Dominican Republic Education Abroad Mentoring Student (DREAMS) Leaders Program, a short-term study abroad program that combines classroom lessons with service learning.

“In an increasingly globalized society, students can experience learning and living in another country, while deepening their understanding of economic, political, international, and cultural issues,” the DREAMS Leaders Program affirms.

For one semester, program participants study Dominican culture, the impact of global inequality on life chances, explanations for global poverty, and dependency and modernization theories. Then, students travel to the Dominican Republic for eight days and collaborate with Universidad Iberoamericana (UNIBE) faculty and local guides to learn about the country first-hand while serving locals.

“It is one thing to hear about it, but it’s a whole different feeling experiencing it first-hand,” said one student participant. The students interact with locals in both the city and country and plant trees to reforest devastated areas outside the capital city. Back in the states, the students continue to serve through a Habitat for Humanity project.

A testament to its success, 100% of the inaugural participants said they would recommend the DREAMS Leaders Program to a friend. As one student participant said, “it really opened our eyes to what occurs in our world today, and has been happening for years now.” The program’s innovative and comprehensive approach towards education and service is sure to change lives for years to come. Visit Caldwell’s study abroad webpage to learn more about the DREAMS Leaders Program.


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What Did You Do With Your Jenzabar Foundation Grant? – From The A.R.R.O.W.S. Mentoring Program

Pairing Ursuline College students with Warrensville Heights High School students, the A.R.R.O.W.S. (Academic Readiness Requires Outstanding Work and Support) Program aims to promote success and foster ambition for further education through peer mentoring, and student-led workshops covering topics such as financial aid, the college application process, and goal-setting. In 2013 they received a grant from the Jenzabar Foundation. Let’s see where they are now:

In May 2013 when Ursuline College’s A.R.R.O.W.S. mentoring program accepted the Jenzabar Foundation’s Student Leadership Award, it had fourteen Warrensville High school student mentees, and ten college student mentors. As soon as they returned home from JAM (Jenzabar Annual Meeting), preparation for a spectacular year began. First they brought aboard with them eight more mentors and ten mentees. At A.R.R.O.W.S. first meeting of the 2013-2014 school year, they lugged piles of old magazines and other art supplies into the commuter lounge on Ursuline’s campus, where they created vision boards and their girls connected in a new way with their mentors. Both the mentors’ and mentees’ eyes lit up as they cut and strategically pasted together this collage of their short term and long term goals. They were excited, (some perhaps for the first time for their future). These goals were fast approaching in some students’ opinion, and already in progress to others. But to all their goals were undoubtedly attainable. Students were encouraged to hang their vision boards in their lockers as a daily reminder of why they should do their very best in school.

A.R.R.O.W.S. goal is not only to have fun, but also to individually and collectively learn how to critically think through personal, academic, and community problems. Throughout the year they have come together for various academic and recreational activities such as a career workshop, basketball game, fashion show, and life coaching presentation (see photos). Over the course of the summer, some of the mentees were a part of a video that nearly went viral on Facebook, promoting an “honor roll challenge” (in light of the various popular social media challenges like the “cinnamon challenge” and the “ALS ice bucket challenge”). As honor students, some of the mentees along with their friends publicly challenged their peers to do the same. In fact, during the year, several of the honor student mentee were awarded certificates for their high grades (see photo).

As A.R.R.O.W.S. prepares to add nearly twenty more students and mentors to the program, they are feeling overwhelmed with excitement. They are most excited about the growing support they are receiving from the high school staff. This upcoming year, they hope to increase their presence on campus and in the community as their older high school mentees will explore internship opportunities.  Surely they will soon to outgrow their meetings in the College’s commuter lounge, but never their passion for mentorship, community learning experiences, and student leadership.

The Jenzabar Foundation is honored to support Ursuline students and their high school mentees in their aspirations for a successful education in the face of socioeconomic hardships. We are so happy to see that the grant has been a help and look forward to seeing what happens next.

Author: Jamie Carter & Jimeka Holloway

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What Did You Do With Your Jenzabar Foundation Grant? – From Swipes For The Homeless

Founded by students at UCLA, Swipes for the Homeless began with students “swiping” into their dining halls for meals to-go and delivering the meals to people on the streets of Los Angeles. After institutionalizing the program, meal swipes are now transferred into non-perishable goods to be delivered to the local homeless population, and the movement has spread across the country. In 2011, after four years of operating solely on volunteerism, Swipes became an international non-profit organization with chapters throughout the world, whose growth we are excited to support. In 2013 they received a grant from the Jenzabar Foundation, let’s see what they did with it:

The grant helped Swipes in their overall capacity. It covered about two whole months of operations. Here are some of the things that have happened since they received the Jenzabar Foundation award. Technically, the grant represented 17% of Swipes overall budget during this period. It was spent with a focus of starting new chapters and supporting the UCLA and USC Chapters. Below are some details.

UCLA:

  • Homelessness awareness week.
  • They’ve had more than 7 volunteer trips.
  • The current Presidents, Aaron Masjedi and Emily Vargas, have a total team of 29 people just at UCLA on the Swipes Board.
  • The meal Swipes that UCLA Swipes for the Homeless collects, are donated directly to students in need. This happens in 2 ways; a bulk of the funds are used to purchase food for the UCLA Food Closet and there is an unmarked room where students and faculty can access and take what they need to make it through the day and beyond.
  • Another portion of the dollars is spent on the Bruin Meal Voucher Program. Donated meal swipes are converted into meal vouchers which are distributed to students in need who can then enter the dining hall for free and enjoy a warm, nutritious meal like everyone else.

This meal voucher program was actually picked up on by the UC Board of Regents who considering and planning out how to roll it out across the UC System schools. The Program currently exists at UCLA and UC Santa Barbara through Swipes for the Homeless.

USC:

  • Great growth in the partnership with university administration
  • Now students are able to donate via their cell phones
  • The donations from USC are going to have their focus shifted. Now about $40k a year will be spent on food for youth 18-25 years old in youth shelters trying to get back on their feet.
  • USC has begun tabling around the school at all types of events from farmers markets to sports games.
  • The students, with the help of professionals, provide tours of Skid Row– the highest population of homeless people in the entire country. There are approximately 50,000 homeless people. USC is very close to Skid Row but students are so isolated that these tours are literally becoming a bridge between the communities.

National Updates:

  • Launched a new chapter at UC Riverside and at Loyola Marymount University
  • Amount of Food donated in 2013: 104,846
  • In 2014 so far: 71,450 meals. (note, some schools don’t report until the end of the year so this is likely to jump!)
  • There are more than two THOUSAND students across the country that choose to stand up against hunger and donate a swipe each year. Swipes donations range from 1 meal to 140 meals!
  • Swipes for the Homeless just celebrated their 4th Official anniversary.

The Jenzabar Foundation is so glad to see how their great helped in this noble and fast growing project. Keep up the good work Swipes!

Arthur: Rachel Sumekh, Executive Director at Swipes for the Homeless, and Christina Meneghini, Jenzabar Foundation Intern.

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