It Takes a Community to Make Change


Together we can change the worldWhether global or local, change originates from one thing: a certain kind of person— observant, selfless, influential. When individuals like this come together, change has a chance. This is why the idea of community, no matter the scope of it, is crucial.

It’s often the case that these passionate individuals become the founders of nonprofit organizations — or communities within communities — to tackle and advocate for various kinds of change. From eradicating hunger to providing shelter for the homeless, the mission statements are as endless as they are admirable. The people of these organizations teach us all the importance and impact of paying attention, being generous, and taking action.

Below are a few model examples of individuals who embody these ideals and the nonprofits they created.

Leonard Grunstein and Project EZRAH

Back in 2001, Project EZRAH was created in response to the unemployment crises in the New Jersey Community.  It started as a resource to help unemployed people pay for health insurance. But as the project grew, this nonprofit was able to aid in job search assistance and emotional counseling services for these families.

As someone who hopes to have a family of my own one day, it is comforting to know that this type of organization is around, especially because tuition assistance is provided for the candidate’s children.

Jessica Ballew and J.E.S.S.I.C.A. Cares

Rather than simply sitting, waiting, and wishing for something to change, Jessica Ballew established J.E.S.S.I.C.A. Cares as her answer to the unique struggles with self-esteem, worth, and empowerment that many young women face.

Made up of empowering programs and interactive sessions, J.E.S.S.I.C.A. Cares is a mentorship organization at its core that seeks to overwhelm the harmful messages in the media and other negative influences. Ballew and her team carry out its mission every day by showing their fellow community of women what they are capable of and how to get there.

Jared Chung and CareerVillage.org

Jared saw a disconnect in how high school students obtain critical academic and career advice from their guidance counsellor in an era where students outnumber counsellors 500 to 1.  Combining crowdsourcing and community, Jared created CareerVillage.org, an online community where students ask career questions that are answered by real people sharing their experiences. Questions range from “what classes should I take if I want to become nurse?” to “do you need to learn a new language if you want to work internationally?” and even “what are good places to find inspiration?”.  CareerVillage now serves as a central hub for students to navigate their career path and college application process alongside educators and professionals.

These people saw a problem in their community and found a viable solution! They have improved the quality of life for all of those they have interacted with. It is so easy to get involved in your community; you can find a way no matter how big or small the effort is.

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