NIU CAUSE Makes a Difference

Members of Northern Illinois University who are part of the student organization NIU CAUSE (Collegiate Association of Unreasonable Social Entrepreneurs) recently raised and donated $2,500 to four worthy causes.

CAUSE aims to provide every member with the inspiration, skills, experiences, and networks needed to make a social impact through innovation and entrepreneurship. The group’s vision is to create a world in which everyone is exposed to an opportunity set that allows them to pursue their passions, and one in which everyone takes an active role as a positive change maker.

The funds CAUSE raised were used for:

A new $1,000 CAUSE scholarship in Social Entrepreneurship

The CAUSE scholarship will be awarded annually to qualified NIU students who pursue a minor or certificate in social entrepreneurship, both of which are housed in the NIU Department of Management.

A $500 donation to Human Connections (formerly Investours Mexico)

Human Connections plans to use the funds to launch an English class for its microfinance clients. Additionally, the organization plans to acquire data management software that will help scale its operations.  Both uses were recommended by a team of management students in NIU’s newly launched semester-long social venture consulting course.

A $500 donation to Altus Academy

Altus Academy is a private, independent, not-for-profit college preparatory middle school serving low-income and underrepresented youth in Chicago’s North / South Lawndale neighborhoods. Founded by NIU alumnus John Heybach, Altus Academy has partnered with NIU to develop a college preparatory middle school for those who may not necessarily be able to afford traditional education in the Chicago area.

$500 to Smile Train

Smile Train is a non-profit that provides cleft lip surgeries for children in 87 countries. The $500 donation will support corrective surgeries for two children. To date, Smile Train has provided more than one million cleft lip surgeries for children around the world.

“We’re all really proud of creating an annual scholarship to help other NIU students,” said Liz Peters, a student in NIU CAUSE. “The social entrepreneurship program and amazing faculty advisers have been such a great asset for us. It really means a lot for students to get some financial assistance as well as all the ways they benefit and grow from being involved in such a great program.”


About the Author

Max Pulcini
Max Pulcini

Max Pulcini is a Philadelphia-based writer and reporter. He has an affinity for Philly sports teams, Super Smash Bros. and cured meats and cheeses. Max has written for Philadelphia-based publications such as Spirit News, Philadelphia City Paper, and Billy Penn, as well as national news outlets like The Daily Beast.

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