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IMPACT Track Planning - Youth Empowerment Partner Outreach

Page history last edited by Kelly Behrend 9 years, 9 months ago


Youth Empowerment Track

Partner Outreach Letter

 

Dear [INSERT NAME]:

 

 

My name is Kelly Behrend, Program Associate with the Bonner Foundation. The Bonner Foundation has worked for over 20 years in supporting civic engagement in higher education, specifically through the campus-based community service and service-based Bonner scholarship program, which is currently at eighty colleges and universities nationwide. 

 

With about 2,500 current Bonner Scholars, over 5,000 alumni, and hundreds of national and international partner organizations, the Bonner Network is continually expanding. I write to you today because we would like for your organization to be a part of this work and also invite your organization to the largest and most historic student conference on student civic engagement, called IMPACT, which will have a specific focus on Refugee and Immigration Issues this year. The IMPACT Conference was started by Bonner Foundation staff some 25 years ago, and now it is coordinated entirely by a volunteer network of students, faculty, and staff from colleges and universities from around the country. This year, the conference will take place Thursday, March 31st to Sunday, April 3rd at Stetson University in DeLand, Florida.

 

Bonner Scholars are college students that receive a scholarship based on civic engagement, meaning they serve in their communities ten hours per week during the academic year, engage in intensive summer internships with non-profits, and often enter into the non-profit sector as a career choice (our recent alumni survey indicates that over 60% of Bonner alum currently work in the non-profit or government sector). These students are leaders on their campuses and engage with issues of social justice, diversity, and advocacy in their communities.

 

Bonner Scholars and other collegiate student leaders gather annually at the the IMPACT Conference, now in its 26th year. The conference a platform for college students to gather together across issues, ideology, geography, and philosophy of social change. Additionally, it is an opportunity for students to gather with organizations like yours and gain insight from your work. These connections often lead to campus chapters, internships, and/or career opportunities.

 

We are reaching out to your organization to collaborate with you on the development of the Refugee and Immigration Issue Track. This issue theme is the first of its kind in IMPACT’s history. With refugee and immigrant services continuously growing, students are serving in this issue area more than ever before.

 

The track is designed for students, administrators, and partner organization who have interest or experience in working with refugee or immigrant groups. Typically, students engage with these populations through their service in schools, refugee/immigrant support agencies, English as a Second Language (ESL) programs, or health clinics. This track will enable participants to share their experiences, discuss the issues, and learn about opportunities for advocacy and social action. The track is organized in a developmental way, leading participants from a basic understanding of the issue to deeper analyses of related policy, advocacy, and career opportunities.

 

There is a wide range of ways that your organization can participate in the planning and/or facilitation of this track, which will consist of three workshops, an immersion project in the local community, a panel discussion, and a broad range of other skill-building workshops that you can lead on your own. We can customize your level of involvement, combining any or all of the track elements below:

 

Co-Facilitation Opportunity

There will be three workshops, arranged in a developmental and sequential way, that will lead participants through a progressively deeper understanding of an issue’s history, related policy, and advocacy opportunities. These workshops will be facilitated by track coordinators, with opportunities for your organization to plug in and present on relevant topics in an all-group setting.

 

Immersion Project

Stetson University host students and staff are working with local partners in DeLand, Florida to plan a 3-hour direct service opportunity for participants in this track. Although the specifics of the immersion project are to be determined, this is an opportunity to participate in direct service and reflection with a group of students who are similarly committed to this issue.

 

Panel Participant

A partner organization panel will give participants a chance to hear about your diverse experiences with the issue. Although the specific topic of the panel for this issue track is to be determined, it will be a great opportunity to participate in a panel discussion with other prominent organizations in the field in an all-group setting.

 

Table at Networking Fair

Like most conferences, the Networking Fair is a highly anticipated event for both participants and presenters. The IMPACT networking fair will enable you to connect with students from around the country engaged with the issue, as well as other prominent partner organizations.

 

Elective Workshop

With seven workshop blocks and an estimated 15 workshops per block, there are 105 workshop slots available for the IMPACT Conference. You are invited to submit a workshop proposal and present information on your organization, its projects, or skill-building trainings for participants.

 

Refugee and Immigration Issues Luncheon

As the Bonner Network enters into its third decade, we are positioned to begin engaging with the issues on deeper levels. We look forward to sharing our knowledge and getting insight on your work in an intentional way through an Issue Luncheon with Bonner Foundation staff and other administrators from our network. The luncheon will enable you to engage in some strategic thinking with others who are working on this issue from around the country.

 

Dozens of organizations participate in the IMPACT Conference annually, with many sponsoring the conference. Details on formal sponsorship levels and benefits can be found on the PDF attached. Your organization is invited to consider sponsorship (it is the only way to get a table at the networking fair, for example), but would also receive special recognition and opportunities for your involvement in theRefugee and Immigration Issues Track.

 

We are personally devoted to this issue and admire your organization’s commitment to our country’s refugee and immigrant communities. We look forward to hearing from you soon and considering the many possibilities for partnership.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

 

Kelly Behrend, Program Associate, Bonner Foundation &

Giuseppe Cespedes, Bonner Leader Program Coordinator, Rutgers University

 

Refugee and Immigration Issues IMPACT Track Co-Coordinators

 

 


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