This is the first post in our Haas Social Impact Fund (HSIF) series.
Every year, the Haas Social Impact Fund selects students interested in using their internships to work in the social sector. The program is funded mostly by current Haas MBA students who divert a small part of their summer salaries to support their classmates. “I’m extremely grateful for the generosity of my classmates. It was very touching to see how many of them contributed to HSIF to support me in pursuing my passions,” said one of this year’s Fellows, Amy Chou (MBA16).
This summer, Amy “nerded out” at Character Lab, a nonprofit startup whose mission is to bridge the science of character development with the daily work of teaching so students can reach their potential. Amy’s project had her serving in a consultant-type capacity with work ranging from analyzing the existing product pipeline to identifying external dissemination platforms, from synthesizing their project landscape to volunteering at a conference for researchers and teachers and a professional development workshop for teachers hosted by Character Lab.
“The summer was an eye-opening experience that I would not have had without the experiences I had at Haas. CSSL‘s programs, especially Berkeley Board Fellows and Social Sector Solutions, helped me understand the nonprofit world much better than I did before and allowed me to demonstrate a genuine interest in exploring the social sector,” Amy noted.
She also explained how Character Lab aligned well with Haas’ Guiding Principles: “Character Lab definitely challenges the status quo by trying to bring character development back into the classroom when it has largely been pushed aside because of the increasing focus on standardized tests. [They] also go Beyond Yourself in helping teachers more effectively develop character strengths and skills in students which are shown to be increasingly tied to academic success and other positive life outcomes.”
Find out more about how to get involved in the Haas Social Impact Fund.