Lorraine Shaffer introduces students to Innovation Playground. This non-profit bridges the educational gap between STEAM classes.

Students from Alice Del Vecchio’s University Seminar class #changetheworld hosted the event So Many Ways to Change the World Thursday to give students on campus opportunities to talk to nonprofit organizations.  

Del Vecchio is the Chair of the new Department of Philanthropy, Nonprofit Leadership and Public Affairs through which the event was coordinated.  

Slippery Rock is the only university in the state of Pennsylvania that offers a degree in non-profit management. Del Vecchio said that she offered to teach a freshman seminar, titling it, #changetheworld.  

In the class, Del Vecchio teaches students to look at global and local figures that are using their lives to make a difference. Along with researching figures changing the world, students will put together a plan for how they plan to change the world.  

“You might not change the whole world, but you can do things to change the world where you are,” Del Vecchio said.  

Del Vecchio and her students worked together to coordinate the event by inviting local nonprofit organizations.  

Matthew Gibson, a freshman secondary English education major, is part of the #changetheworld University Seminar class. As part of the changemaker event, Gibson and his team of students worked on spreading the word of the event.  

“We wanted to get people to know about how to change the world in different ways,” Gibson said. “Though it might seem like a big thing, we have to be the change. We want people to realize how important it is for them to change the world.” 

In Del Vecchio’s University Seminar class, students also learn about constant themes they share with figures who are changing the world and apply them to their own lives.  

Along with Gibson, Robert Maddox, an undecided freshman looking into education, explained how the class understands the beginning aspects of change and what the steps are.  

Maddox said that one point of the event was to understand the importance of making a change to issues that are common in a community.  

“I think it’s important to see what other people are doing to fix these issues as well,” Maddox said.  

The #changetheworld class and the Thursday event allowed students to see how local nonprofit organizations were approaching these issues.  

Organizations at the event include One Nation Mentoring, an organization that teaches young, inner city males to overcome adversity, and Kid’s Innovation Playground, an organization devoted to bridging the educational gap in science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM) classes.  

Among these organizations was Roots: Growing in Change, an organization on Slippery Rock’s Campus that is focused to encourage healthy life decisions and behavior change by changing the negative narrative of African American youth.  

Del Vecchio said that some of the people at the event were or still are her students.  

“These are students who said, ‘yeah I want to change the world’, and they’re learning how,” Del Vecchio said.  

Gibson, one of Del Vecchio’s students in her University Seminar class, said that Del Vecchio actively assumes that the students are going to engage in their plans and holds them accountable to change the world. 

Although planning the event So Many Ways to Change the World was part of Del Vecchio’s class, she wants students who attend the even to see themselves as someone who could change the world.  

“It’s very exciting for me to watch young people who have been thinking that they want to do something but don’t know how,” Del Vecchio said. “They begin to find that in themselves and get excited about what they can. This gives them confidence that they can make a contribution.” 

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Hope is a senior converged journalism major entering her third year on The Rocket staff and her second year as campus life editor. Previously, she served as assistant campus life editor after contributing to the campus life section her freshman year. After graduation, she hopes to report for a paper either in local journalism or city news. Outside of The Rocket, Hope is also part of the JumpStart Mentor Program, the Student Organization of Latinos Hispanics and Allies (SOL) and Lambda Pi Eta.


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