“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
This quote by Margaret Mead, an anthropologist whose work advanced science immensely, encapsulates the essence of nonprofit work. Some popular examples of nonprofit organizations that first come to mind are large organizations such as Make-A-Wish Foundation or the American Red Cross since they are so widely-known. However, there are thousands of nonprofits in communities across America that are small, but mighty in making an impact, such as Future Institute and Concept Schools. These entities are charitable, aiming to improve the well-being of those around them. With over 1.5 million nonprofit organizations nationwide, according to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, there is much of this spirit alive today.
As stated by the National Council of Nonprofits, of the nonprofit organizations within America, about 17% of them are in the education sector. As one can imagine, the list of benefits of a good education is endless. Whether it be to create a stable lifestyle, develop critical thinking, bring advancements to technology, become independent, or to make the world a better and safer place–education is something worth investing in.
Nonprofit organizations, such as Future Institute, who fall under the education sector, aim to support and provide resources for students so they can succeed in their education.
There are many factors that may make it difficult for individuals to attain their educational goals. Of course, money is one that is discussed a lot, especially for those high school graduates seeking a post-secondary degree. Many nonprofits provide scholarships to students so that this factor becomes less of a burden–hopefully enabling them to focus more on schooling and less on money.
Another issue that students face in schooling is trouble transitioning between high school and college, and overall, just coping with life after graduation. Big changes happen when going into middle school, high school, and post-graduation, that are all difficult to handle without help.
Many of these organizations enact programs or provide resources to students to make this transition more comfortable. Sometimes, just having a person to talk and relate to at their school can make all the difference. Perhaps having someone to look up to and provide guidance, like a mentor, can keep them accountable for their education. Or maybe taking advantage of events sponsored by these nonprofits, like jobs fairs or workshops, can give them the ability to realize their potential. At Future Institute (FI), we have a multitude of programs available to our students. One example is the FI Leadership Committee, who often organizes events at our schools. Vanessa Rico, the Outreach Specialist for FI and secretary for this Committee, has first-hand experience about how valuable these events can be for students:
“FI Leadership Committee recently hosted a Resume Fair for Chicago Math and Science Academy (CMSA) alumni and current high school juniors and seniors on January 17th. The Resume Fair allowed students and alumni to network with the presenters in their respective fields. Most importantly, the Resume Fair facilitated the transition from an academic career to ‘real world’ career opportunities. The goal of the Resume Fair was to shed light on the importance of resume building while expanding academic and career horizons.”
This event went so well that another one of our schools, Horizon Science Academy-McKinley Park, has decided to host their own Resume Fair. Programs like these show how far these organizations are willing to go to invest in their student’s future.
At the end of the day, a non-profit organization’s bottom line isn’t to generate dollars; but rather, to accomplish a combined goal. This may be for the betterment of the environment, medicine, education, or simply, the world. Educational non-profits are vital to a strong, intellectual community. Without them, who is genuinely looking out for the future of its people?