By Alicia Thomas
Some college students spend time worrying about what they should wear out to the frat this weekend, what they should eat tomorrow in the dining hall, and how they're ever going to pass their upcoming orgo exam. However, there are a few college students who spend their time thinking nonstop about the nonprofits they've started instead. The following are just a few organizations started by college students who have managed to balance their schoolwork along with the philanthropic endeavors they've initiated.
Patient 9 Foundation was created by Cole Winarick, a current freshman at the University of Delaware, in 2010. The organization is dedicated to raising funds as well as raising awareness for those who live with melanoma and related diseases by working with the Delaware Community Foundation. Cole was inspired to start the nonprofit by his father's battle with skin cancer. Currently there is no cure for melanoma, and Cole found that there is very little funding available for melanoma research.
"Luckily, we found a new experimental clinical trial treatment being conducted at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston," Cole says. "My father was accepted into the trial, and he agreed to participate in it. He was the ninth patient in his phase of the clinical trial, hence the 'Patient 9 Foundation.'"
Cole's first goal is to raise $250,000 through fundraisers and donations. "I plan on donating this money to help fund a melanoma research grant so that my father's experimental treatment may have a higher remission and/or cure rate and altogether save lives," Cole says. "For me, the sky is the limit, and I will not stop until I reach my goal!"
2. COS Nigeria
The Computer Outreach School of Nigeria was founded by Olatunde Olatunji, Zach Correa, and Keefer Taylor, all students graduating from the University of Richmond in 2013. The organization is partnered with the Ilesa Grammar School in Illesa, Nigeria, and their mission is to teach Nigerian students how to utilize computer resources by bringing them into contact with teachers who are technologically literate.
"The president, Olatunde, is from Nigeria, and would always talk about how lucky he was to come to the United States because of his parents," says Andrew Valenski, a sophomore at UR and the nonprofit's Director of Development. "We'd see pictures of the place where he grew up and it was unlike anything we'd ever seen. He always wanted to make a school, but didn't know what about or how." The Board of Directors, which consists of all of the aforementioned students as well as the director of fundraising (UR sophomore Matthew Groff), realized that something that united all of them was computers, since all of their studies are fundamentally rooted in technological literacy. So they decided that computer literacy what they wanted to teach the children of this impoverished area in Nigeria.
Their goal is to raise $21,000 in order to obtain computers, hardware, software, and school supplies, and all the funds are being raised through donations on the organization's website. "We're all in this for the same reason," Andrew says. "We just want to make a positive difference in these kids' lives."
Read about two more nonprofits started by college students here on Her Campus!