My Positive Influence
The negative influences and messages that bombard our children daily delivered by pop media role models such as Paris Hilton and rapper 50-Cent, strongly dominate any positive influences that are available for our children. The percentage of young students using drugs and having sex is exponential. "My Positive Influence" will supply a service of positive mentors to this generation that is in desperate need of guidance. "My Positive Influence" will be a life support for the prep school students of Manhattan, in a generation consumed with unethical values and morals. Many successful parents in the Manhattan community do not have the time they might desire to help guild their children in this confusing world. Well balanced college students recruited from local universities will act as the mentors. The target audience is prep school students ranging from the 4th grade through the 12th grade.
Profits will be earned through a reasonable hourly rate for our mentoring services. With slightly over 60 private schools in Manhattan our target audience consists of approximately 50,000 potential costumers. One of our primary goals is to insure that the mentors are not strangers to their students. Long term relationships will result in positive changes and development in the lives of these highly impressionable minds. The programs effectiveness can only be measured by the students and their parents. Activities such as museum expeditions, community service, theater trips, learning the public transportation system and other adventures in and around Manhattan is the basic plan of action for the life skills sector. Basic tutoring will also be available in the form of study buddies.
The extremely low over head and start up costs, and the moral values of "My Positive Influence" will insure our long term success. By utilizing the support of friends and family and their services and skills, start up costs would not exceed $1000. Costs incurred for start up would include state licensing, becoming incorporated, printing expenses and initial marketing. Expenses would be limited by utilizing the support of the local private schools. With the assistance of the Pace Pitch Committee, The Small Business Development Center, the private schools of Manhattan and the parents of the community, "My Positive Influence" will grow to become a praised organization that will truly make a difference in the youth of Manhattan.
David Ross McGregor has been an entrepreneur for as long as he can remember. In the third grade, he started my first small business. Every Wednesday morning in his home town of Irvington, New York, he would wake up at 6am in order to rummage through the recycling bins of his community. He was in search of the cans and bottles that retrieved the 5 cents that he desired. Since then, he has meticulously increased his productivity and work background. Starting his professional career as a lifeguard, David soon realized that it was a fruitless job. He moved on to become an adult sailing instructor. From there, he obtained his NY State and FL state real estate salesperson licenses. He worked as a salesperson for Century 21, and continued to obtain a US Coast Guard captain's license. With his new license, David traveled the world exploring the most exotic places. He did all of this during or around full-time schooling. He now feels prepared to achieve the next step in his professional career by founding a social venture. He is driven to succeed, and succeed he will.
The Social Enterprise
Business is focused on profit, not social good. Without the profit motive, non-profit organizations are relatively inefficient. The Social Enterprise strives to bridge this gap, and in so doing positively transform business, nonprofits, and ultimately society, for the better. The Social Enterprise will work systematically, purposefully and creatively to deliver transformative solutions that are pattern breaking, sustainable and scalable. Our offering encompasses program development and public relations, research and innovation. The organization's fee structure, and partnership approach, is flexible to ensure an affordable and efficient service.
The unique proposition of The Social Enterprise will fill a niche that is neglected by the private and third sector. While the market moves to ever increasing specialization, we will offer a generalist perspective. The team will strive to deliver a quiet revolution: making businesses more socially minded, and non-profit organizations more efficient. The Social Enterprise will be a cross-disciplinary hub of experts providing a one-stop shop for holistic organizational development. Under its virtual roof there will be professionals from all fields - architects, lawyers, accountants, marketers - working together to develop new experimental approaches to solve even the most seemingly intractable problems.
We will deliver a return on investment - ranging from increased funding to a more engaged and effective workforce. Surplus generated will be reinvested in the business, our communities and the organizations with whom we work. Sales will be driven by the most powerful form of persuasion, referral and recommendation. Already we have five clients, all who approached us through that process. The relationships with them, are subsequently all the stronger.
Operating costs will be minimal, with free online communication and no necessity for a physical office. Not only will this increase margins, it is in line with our philosophy to minimize carbon footprint and corporate wastage.
The team will grow with investment, thus this pitch, our strength being our people. Recruitment will be selective and intensive, with funding going towards that process. Success of The Social Enterprise, and our work, will be measured against a triple bottom line: financial, social and environmental.
David Russell founded The Social Enterprise in April 2007 to support the program and strategic development of organizations striving to make a difference, not just a profit. Current projects include launching the Rwandan Survivors Fund in the US, and rolling- out a global lobbying program to improve the lives of older persons for HelpAge International. As a co-founder and director of The PR Office, David set up the agency's Third Sector division managing global projects for organizations including the Nelson Mandela Foundation, Oxfam and the Holocaust Educational Trust. He has worked with Survivors Fund since 2004, developing a "Reading of the Testimonies" of survivors of the Rwandan genocide to raise awareness of the plight of Rwandan women raped and deliberately infected with HIV/AIDS, which helped secure a £4.25 million grant from the British Government.
Born in Leeds, educated at Christ's College, Cambridge, David had been living in London's East End for the past decade, helping as a community organizer, before relocating to New York to return to school to develop the skills to more effectively advise the organizations with whom he works. He is currently a Reynolds Graduate Fellow of Social Entrepreneurship and studying for an MPA at Wagner, NYU.
The preadolescent female demographic is bombarded daily with body image messages that reinforce mentalities of self- rejection and inadequacy. We feel that teenage girls should be encouraged to, instead of working from a mentality of personal deficit, take pride in their strengths and be comfortable with their weaknesses, learning to collaborate with one another to create productive, complementary teams that will in turn fulfill them on an individual level. The intention of this venture is to create an initial environment of collaboration and positive self-regard then to empower the preadolescent females to take what they've learned and educate their peers outside their immediate community, thus perpetuating the collaborative teamwork as well as the messaging of SPEAK.
SPEAK's methodology is to:
Workshop-style programming to pre-adolescent girls, focusing on body image and self-esteem
Have the girls discuss with collegiate mentors the lessons that they learned in the workshop.
Challenge the girls to take a week and write a short statement on what they learned about self-esteem and body-image, and what they want to change in the future regarding the topic.
Compile the statements into an educational newsletter; include facts from the SPEAK curriculum.
Send the newsletter out to other established groups of pre-adolescent teenage girls.
The mission of the SPEAK workshop series is:
To educate and raise awareness to the preadolescent female community about body image.
To offer a positive, healthy alternative to the negative body image structures the media asserts.
To encourage young women to educate one another about self-acceptance and self-approval (aesthetic as well as emotional and intellectual).
Maxine Karlinsky is a Hospitality and Tourism Management student with a Law minor at Pace University. She is part of the Pforzheimer Honors College and an active member of the Eta Iota Chapter of Kappa Delta Sorority. Maxine holds several part time jobs in various fields, most notably as the Advertising Manager at The Pace Press and general assistant at the Clara Kassavina Studios. Born in Los Angeles, raised in Amsterdam, Maxine now resides in Staten Island with her family.
Mallory Murphy is studying Film and Screen Studies at Pace University and holds an office in Kappa Delta's Eta Iota Chapter. She has a passion for linguistics and an affinity for writing, and hopes to obtain a Master's degree in education after she completes her studies. A lifelong resident of Syracuse, NY, Mallory moved to NYC to gain experience she'll need to become a professional powerhouse back home and hopes to bring the SPEAK program back to her high school when her time in New York City comes to a close.
Christine Straut is a junior at Pace University majoring in Political Science, and a part of the Pforzheimer Honors College. She is an officer in the Eta Iota Chapter of Kappa Delta Sorority. Through her work in the sorority she has had the opportunity to be involved with a variety of other philanthropic and leadership activities. Christine is currently an assistant in the Risk Management Division of a bank and plans to go to law school after graduation.
SSBLink has two main focuses it wishes to accomplish. The first and most important is expanding the knowledge of college students in the field of small business. We will put college students in an atmosphere where they are going to solve small business problems through very creative way. The second goal is to help struggling small businesses get their feet out of water. There is a strong statistic stating how most business fails within the first two years; SSBLink will try to help small businesses on the losing end of this statistic by giving them a fresh outlook on common mistakes from several college students in two major fields. College students will have the choice of joining two teams: the business solutions team and the marketing team. The business solutions team will analyze and create approachable solutions to an array of business problems. The marketing team will create effective marketing strategies, develop advertising, and attract customers. Students will work with professors, successful business professionals, and small business owners.
This would allow college students to be knowledgeable about all aspects of the business, including: Developing analytical and problem solving skills to improve and enhance an existing business. Networking and sharing experiences with small business owners and learn to effectively work on a team to achieve a common goal.
The initial plan is to set up clubs at the Pace NYC and Pleasantville campuses. Long term goals include involving many universities to take a part in helping struggling small business, including nonprofit organizations. The reason for having this venture is helping those small business owners with no college experience, no business experience, history of failing business, and poor financial standings. This venture will lean more toward the lower spectrum of business and organizations. We will work together to learn to create successful businesses.
Shady Fahmy is a freshman attending Pace University at the New York City campus. He chose Pace for its business background and his goals in the business field. He was captain of the track team in high school, and led the team to city championships two years in a row and won several awards and medals. He has led and mentored new runners ever since he joined track. Shady has done large amounts of community service during his high school career, fixing computers and networks. He has dedicated several hours and worked with a teacher toward improving his school's technology. He has worked at a CVS pharmacy since last March, starting as cashier and advancing to a shift manager in a matter of months. He is an asset to his job and was given the opportunity to be in charge of a store. He has been on the small business scene with his father for years and has witnessed the starting and selling of businesses. Shady has felt the hardship and downfalls of small business, yet at the same time he is trying to develop new ideas and concepts for small businesses.
Historical literacy among America's adolescents and teenagers has been declining at the very time when an understanding of world history is crucial for interpreting major current events.
WikiHist.org, a revenue-generating non-profit social venture, is a web-based interactive mapping platform that will "scrape" Wikipedia and finally assemble the entire human historical timeline into an intuitive and malleable format. It is the future of history. WikiHist is based on the layout of ArcSoft GIS software, used by urban planners, park rangers, surveyors, etc. The main elements are a zoomable map and a holding area of tiles representing "layers" of data that can be "thrown" on or off the map. Layers will include information such as battles, trade routes, political spheres, migrations, etc. (represented by colored lines, dots, and shaded circles), as well as custom layers developed by history volunteers on the web, which can be freely created according to a set format, and freely downloaded by users. WikiHist will approach partnerships with history graduate students, the Wikipedia content community, and history buff Web sites, to cultivate its own content producer community.
An example of WikiHist at work is as follows: A student interested in late-Roman history might choose to add layers to the WikiHist map such as Kingdoms, Trade Routes, Battles, and Natural Disasters, and view years 0-500AD. She would then instantly view not only many of the major events in Europe, but also a trade link with the Saigon basin, bloody wars in China leading to the rise of the Qin Dynasty, the Iranian Sassanid Empire taking control of Iraq and Afghanistan, the explosion of Mount Krakatoa, and many other concurrent events. The user becomes the subject-historian, allowing even a 9th grader to speculate at a hitherto unprecedented historical-global level.
The primary market for WikiHist is high school students. The WikiHist team will develop and solicit custom WikiHist curricula that teachers can freely utilize to help students learn about history via this new medium. Additional markets include "history buffs", a portion of the college and junior high school students, and history professors and teachers themselves.
Joshua Levin, an experienced educator, entrepreneur, and technology project manager, will be the team leader. His teammates include experienced media educators, education software developers, and historians from the NYU, Harvard, and MIT communities.
Joshua Levin is a first-year full-time MBA student at NYU's Stern School of Business, where he studies Management, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, and Information Systems. He graduated magna cum laude with honors from Harvard University in 2002. Joshua is a Catherine B. Reynolds Fellow of Social Entrepreneurship at Stern, and his area of interest is the intersection of international development and social enterprise. He has been inspired by his work experiences in Asia, and his academic research on development, social capital, and social control in northwestern China. During his more recent work in Cambodia for Conservation International, where he tracked and monitored endangered species, Joshua was inspired by both the successes and failures of the cross-cultural leadership, as well as the difficulties of environmental conservation in poverty-stricken regions. Determined to hone his management and entrepreneurial skills, Joshua launched RedKey Education in 2004, a private education services business in Cambridge, MA. RedKey sells in-home tutoring services and develops contractor-management and distance-learning web technologies to improve the quality and reach of affordable one-on-one education.
Humare Dunya: "Our World"
Interfaith service is the means to an end for obtaining a safe environment in a world with religious conflict. Religion continues to be one of our greatest divides. Therefore, we must create outlets for which our youth can overcome these misunderstandings and successfully contribute to creating a better world.
India is a leader in world events and is one of the most religiously diverse countries in the Asian subcontinent. In modern India, we see youth movements rising out of the ashes of communal violence to transcend boundaries through social work.
India is a nation with profound communal strife. We propose to take six religiously diverse American youth to partake in an interfaith, service-oriented program to the Indian capital, New Delhi and the Indian state of Gujarat. The duration of the program is 30 days from June 1, 2008 through July 1, 2008. In both locations we will work with and be guided by Indian youth organizations dedicated to service initiatives. This program will establish meaningful connections amongst the American participants and between the American and the Indian youth.
New Delhi is a hub for social programs committed to both rural and urban renewal, thus providing the participants with a wealth of service opportunities. Participants will orient themselves with various religiously-bound organizations to assist in food distribution to impoverished communities, including the ISKON Temple in New Delhi and Zakat Foundation of India.
In February of 2002, the state of Gujarat suffered communal violence in which over 2,000 Muslims were killed and over 100,000 displaced. The participants will work with Aman Biradari's Nyayagra campaign in the Gujarati Districts of Ahmedabad, Anand and Sabar Kantha. Participants will lead a video project to bridge divides between the Hindu and Muslim communities, including both victims' and rioters' truthful and inspiring testimonials. These recordings will be shown to Muslim and Hindu communities in order to facilitate dialogue between the communities.
The program is designed for self-sustainability as each participant must pay $2500 in order to cover travel, room/board, and service- project costs. To recruit the most qualified participants, we hope to raise $3000 for financial aid. In order to send two qualified program coordinators we need to raise $5000.
Soofia Ahmed has participated in volunteer excursions to India for the past four summers and has led service-oriented youth groups to India for the past two years, is fluent in Urdu and Hindi, and has collaborated with Indian NGOs in Delhi and Gujarat on a multitude of social justice issues.
Florentina Williamson-Noble is a delegate for an Italian NGO to the United Nations.
Frank Fredericks is the founder of World Faith (www.worldfaith.org).