Activities & Organizations

Nonprofit leaders celebrate two decades

The David M. Underwood Chapter of the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance celebrated its 20th anniversary and awarded scholarships and recognized students who had completed the program in time for graduation.

The ceremony was held Thursday at the Junior League of Houston. NLA program director, Melanie Fitzpatrick, said she hopes that students take what they’ve learned from the program, and use it in the workplace and throughout the community.

“I think inspiring leadership in these students, and the opportunity to see their compassion for our community and their desire to make an impact, can turn into a professional job that they can love going in to everyday,” said Fitzpatrick.

The NLA partners with colleges and universities throughout the U.S. to certify students and prepare them for careers with nonprofit organizations across the globe. Marketing senior Ni Zhang said that she came to UH after learning about the NLA program.

“I’ve wanted to work in the nonprofit sector since I was in high school,” Zhang said. “Unfortunately in China, we don’t have academic study with non profit organizations and we don’t have any laws for nonprofit sectors which is why I wanted to study this and why I came to America.”

A brief presentation was given about the growth within the program since it started in 1993 before scholarship recipients were awarded and graduating students were recognized for completion of the program. The Graduate School of Social Work Dean Ira Colby nicknamed the NLA program the unofficial honors college of the GCSW.

Students from any major are welcome to join the program and can learn more and apply online. Finance junior Kayla Lail joined NLA after explaining to her adviser that she wanted to do more for her community.

She said NLA connected her with like minded individuals who also wanted to serve the community.

“(NLA) fueled  my passion for the community,” said Lail. “I enjoy being around people who feel the same way as I do and know that  it’s okay to want to volunteer and want to get involved, and NLA has given me a support system for that.”

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