Want to effect real change? Here’s financial help

Four grants totaling $22,000 available to students for social change programs

Students who care deeply about the community and want to give back can apply for grant money to make their ideas a reality. Four grants totaling $22,000 are available to students this year.

Chia-An Lin (left), Harold Law (second from left), and Sarah Li Zhao (far right), of the St. Louis Christian Chinese Community Service Center in University City, speak with seniors Dan Feng (middle) and Sophia Li (second from right) about the Ending Chinese Addiction to Smoking program last summer at the community service center. Feng and Li were awarded a Kaldi’s Social Change Grant in 2010 for their project.

Money for the development and implementation of innovative community projects during the summer is available in the form of social change grants through the Community Service Office.

An information session about the grants, as well as funding available from the Gephardt Institute for Public Service, the Skandalaris Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, the Office of Undergraduate Research, Overseas Programs and the Career Center, will be held at 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 4, in the Danforth University Center, Room 233.

Students may submit proposals for multiple grants if they meet eligibility requirements. The intent-to-apply deadline is Jan. 24, 2011, and the proposal deadline is Feb. 11, 2011.

Social change grants provide a unique opportunity for students to receive funding to pursue an independent summer project in the spirit of social entrepreneurship. Funding can be used at the recipient’s discretion to cover costs of the project, cost-of-living expenses, and/or in lieu of earnings during the summer or academic year. Individuals or teams can apply.

Past examples of projects include teaching soccer as a means of empowerment for Ugandan girls, the Lemp Summer Music Program, an urban arts café and ending Chinese addiction to smoking.

The available grants:

  • The Stern Social Change Grant was established in 2000 to provide interested students with the means to pursue creative and meaningful activities geared toward finding solutions to society’s needs. Two $6,000 grants are available. All undergraduates are eligible.
  • The Cantor Social Change Grant was established for the 2011 grant cycle to encourage students to focus their knowledge, creativity and resources on low-income or urban communities in St. Louis. The Cantor family established this fund to invest in students who might otherwise be unable to pursue their passions and ideas, and to strengthen students’ connections to the local community. One $5,000 grant is available. All students, including graduate and professional students, are eligible to apply.
  • The Gephardt Social Change Grant was funded in 2009 by supporters of the Gephardt Institute for Public Service. It supports international civic engagement or service projects demonstrating capacity for sustainable impact on an identified community issue. One $5,000 grant is available. All students, including graduate and professional students, are eligible to apply.

For more information on the grants, visit communityservice.wustl.edu/grants or call Stephanie Kurtzman, director of the Community Service Office and associate director of the Richard A. Gephardt Institute for Public Service, at (314) 935-5066.