Today: Jul 17, 2024

Nonprofits share opportunities for students

Brianna Wallen- News Editor

Nonprofits are a staple in the community.  According to, Connecticut has 22,920 nonprofit organizations, with Yale University being the biggest nonprofit in the state. These nonprofits specialize in various fields including social welfare and medicine and are committed to assisting citizens. 

Offering a helping hand to the community includes sharing knowledge on what goes on behind the scenes in nonprofit organizations. Guest speakers that direct local nonprofits have decided to share their wealth by leading a “PEP Talk” at the university.  

In a cosponsored event with The Alliance: the Voice of CT Community Nonprofit, students gathered in Room 122 in the School of Business on Wednesday, March 20 to learn about how these organizations work overtime to create a difference in the community.  

CEO of Clifford Beers Clinic in New Haven Alice Forrester said that her organization’s mission aims to provide resources for parents and their children. Their goal to enact social change guides them through all their projects.  

“The idea of advocating and directing dollars towards social change is very important to us as an agency,” Forrester said.  

Co-guest speaker Jackie Downing is the Senior Director at Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.  

Downing revealed that there are two categories of nonprofit organizations: profit driven companies and mission driven companies. While some companies work to gain a profit in the end, other organizations use their voice to try and change the system.  

“The more people that we can get that are using their voice to try and change the system,” Downing said. “That’s the voice that needs to be raised.”  

With implementations of systematic racism corrupting the system, it is important that students use their voice to help undo issues in the industry. Students can use their voice by holding a position in these nonprofit organizations. 

Executive Director of Horizon at Foote Rashana Graham promoted working at a nonprofit organization. Graham wears multiple hats at her small nonprofit, including marketing promoter and accountant. With these roles, she has creative freedom at her job. 

“Being a part of a nonprofit gives you the space to be creative in what you do,” Graham said. 

This freedom is something that students should take advantage of, as it is not offered with many jobs in the workforce. Another benefit to working under a nonprofit is contributing to the impact they make on society.  

“The freedom to do that which is not usually allowed, and that can really have an impact on society,” Forrester said. 

Fulfilling these duties for the community allows individuals to have a sense of belonging and joy. Graham said that seeing the effect of her contributions at her nonprofit unfold in front of her is a priceless feeling.  

“I think that’s the most rewarding part,” Graham said, “being able to produce the impact and see smiling faces. Being able to be a part of a community is the biggest bright side.”  

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