Over 180 students, staff and presenters joined Michigan Campus Compact (MiCC) on Friday, October 3, 2014 for the 3rd annual Active Leaders Student Conference.This conference allows student leaders the opportunity to seek out successful models in leading community service initiatives, gain valuable skills in mobilizing efforts to maximize their impact and network with other student leaders and nonprofit professionals.
The keynote speaker was Bridget Clark Whitney of Kids’ Food Basket, a West Michigan nonprofit organization attacking childhood hunger to help young people learn and live well. During Bridget’s 12-year tenure, Kids’ Food Basket has undergone significant growth, from serving 125 children to 6,300 each weekday and from an annual budget of $20,000 to $3.9 million. Kids’ Food Basket engages over 200 volunteers each day and was named the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce’s 2014 Nonprofit of the Year. Bridget helped to start Kids’ Food Basket during her time as a student at Aquinas College, with a Venture Grant from MiCC nearly 13 years ago. Students absolutely loved hearing from Bridget, who inspired them to focus on what is needed in their communities.
Coupled with Bridget’s story and words of inspiration, along with the many workshop sessions throughout the day, students were encouraged to utilize everything they learned for the afternoon special competition to commemorate MiCC's 25th anniversary and emphasize the conference theme, "Change Starts Here." Based on the framework of MiCC's Venture Grant application process, the students were divided into regional teams and given less than one hour to develop a "Venture Concept" which was presented to their peers and three guest judges. Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, Michigan State University, The University of Michigan-Flint and Western Michigan University, MiCC was able to award $5,000 to advance student concepts! MiCC staff will follow up with student teams and staff advisors to finalize the projects, all of which have the potential for regional or statewide impact.
Special thanks to our guest judges: Diana R. Algra, Amanda Schafer, and Jamilah Alhashidi.