is Happy to Announce our 2019 Scholarship Winner! ran a $2000 "Scholarship Contest" from April 2019 through October 2019.

The scholarship is for use towards college tuition, books, or other expenses associated with the winning student's schooling.
Students were asked to write an essay answering the following question, in 800 words or less:
One benefit of being a successful business leader is having the ability to support causes and organizations that are in need. If you found success as an entrepreneur, what cause would you want to positively impact, and what steps would you take to do so?

Scholarship details can be found here:
We received over 120 entries for this contest and are happy to announce the winner is Aliyah Brooks.  

About Aliyah:
"As I pursue a degree in higher education, I intend to continue spearheading our world’s perpetual struggle against homelessness. It is my hope that I will be able to build a community founded on equality and tolerance so that hatred and injustice in our world will be obliterated indefinitely. I have recently built a mobile application that provides information on shelters, food pantries, and partnering organizations that help homeless people in NYC. Further, I am involved on campus in the creation of a high fashion magazine about social justice and activism. I am continuing to work on projects in order to alleviate different social justice issues that I am passionate about. "

Aliyah's Essay:
“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” During our first years of primary school, young students are often tasked with answering a simple question, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” My response at seven years old? I wanted to be a medical doctor. Years later, my strong aversion to needles, blood, and calculus have definitely acted as inhibitors to me pursuing the pre- med track in college. What I was left with though, was a realization of my true purpose. At age seven, I was not interested in pursuing a degree in medicine due to the financial gain or social status. My interest in being a doctor stemmed from a strong desire to help those who needed assistance, my younger self had simply seen this job as an avenue to do this. I didn’t really want to be a doctor, I wanted to act as an agent for change in the world. Seven year old me had the right idea, however now, as opposed to studying medicine, I am in business school studying marketing and social entrepreneurship. This is my medium for empowering those around me and for changing the world! 
One class that has had a large positive impact on me in my college career is the Fundamentals of Social Entrepreneurship. Our class had a speaker, the CEO of Bombas, who came and told us about how he created a multimillion dollar company that makes a lot of profit and also has a large social impact. The CEO decided to start the company when he read a statistic that said socks are the most needed item in homeless shelters. He took 2 years to create what he named to be “the perfect pair of socks” and for every pair of socks a person bought he donated a pair to a homeless shelter. In total Bombas has donated over 27 million pairs of socks and counting. After this talk I was left feeling inspired. I too wanted to create an enterprise that was successful in two ways, financially wise and social impact wise. 
The first social enterprise that I am setting out to build is inspired by a young woman I met on the subway one day. This is our story. 
She wore an ample arrangement of clothing and her book bag appeared far too hefty for a regular day trip into the city. She made eye contact with me but seemed uneasy or disconcerted. A few minutes later, we exited at the same train stop and she waved at me on the platform, motioning for me to remove my headphones. “ Ma'am, if you could spare any change I would greatly appreciate it.” I rarely carry cash, and I would walk her to a nearby grocery store buying her a hot meal and groceries, unaware of the fact that my interactions with this woman were going to lead me to pursue a new journey of advocacy and social justice for the homeless population within NYC. 
Throughout my time at NYU, I have become acclimated to the extremely large and ever growing homeless population that has pervaded the New York City streets. It is rare to leave your home without seeing or coming into contact with individuals who are currently experiencing homelessness. Ashley, the woman I met on the train, shared her situation with me and inspired me to use my business degree in marketing and entrepreneurship in order to create a system that would empower and protect the homeless. After one of our meetings, I went home and began diligently googling NYC shelters and food pantries, printing out a map of New York City that would help direct her to these locations.
2 months later 
Using my business degree with a concentration in marketing and a co-concentration in entrepreneurship I am currently in the process of creating an app (in beta) that empowers and aids the homeless population within Manhattan. The application provides information on shelters, food pantries, and partnering organizations that help our target population. Volunteers who are NYU students use this app as a resource. Five days out of the week there are 25 volunteers who each dispatch from NYU to different districts within the city in search of individuals on the street who need our aid. They use the app in order to locate shelters and food pantries near the individual in need. We also provide the prospect with a bookbag which is paid for by our sponsors. Inside the bag there is a 25 dollar Panera gift card ( sponsored by Panera), an umbrella, a first aid kit, mouthwash, dry shampoo, towelettes, socks, a blanket and printouts that locate shelters and food pantries. We also provide a $15 dollar metro card to each person in need. So far, our club has been able to help over 400 homeless individuals and we are continuing to grow, and working with organizations that empower us to help low income and displaced individuals who are struggling to get by in NYC. We have only reached 700 people so far, but the impact and the response that we have received has been enormous. Myself as well as many of our volunteers have been told that we have offered light and hope for our clients in times of despair and travesty. The club is currently looking to expand and offer counseling services as well as job opportunities to empower the community that we are serving. 
As of now, this social venture is operating as a non profit due to the fact that I have not been able to figure out how to monetize a consumer good where the margins are high enough so that the items within the bookbag can be covered by sales without sponsorships. However I am extremely proud of this work and very passionate about fighting against food insecurity in NYC! If I find success as an entrepreneur, this is definitely the cause that I want to continue to donate towards.

  • Author: Gary Blanchard
  • Date: January 16, 2020
  • Category: Professional Development