Dec 112014

Testudo scarf

Winter break is just around the corner (breathe heavy sigh of relief!) Pretty soon the last final will be in, and you’ll be smooth sailing for a peaceful and relaxing winter break. But if sleeping-in and over indulging on hot chocolate doesn’t keep you satisfied for long, this is the post for you. Here are seven ways to jumpstart your New Year (and Spring semester!) to make a positive impact on the world around you. ‘Tis the season… Let’s do this!

Do Some Good. Do you have a cause that’s near and dear to your heart? Now’s the time to act! Transform that passion into a project and register to compete in the Do Good Challenge! The Do Good Challenge is an eight-week prize competition that inspires Terps to make the greatest social impact they can for their favorite cause. Students team-up to volunteer, fundraise, promote awareness, or advance their own social enterprises. The Challenge begins February 9th. Start planning now with these project resources.

Improve Our Campus and Community. Want to collaborate with UMD allies to advance social and environmental change on campus and beyond? Wondering where to start?  Check out the University of Maryland Living Lab Portal – a new online platform that connects UMD students with experiential learning projects that improve the UMD campus and local community. Work with your peers and University of Maryland departments trying to make UMD a better place to learn, live and work. Apply for a Living Lab project over the winter so you can hit the ground running this spring!

Learn from Social Impact Leaders (Like TOM’s Shoes!) Register now for the 2015 Social Enterprise Symposium – the University of Maryland’s premiere event on social enterprise and social entrepreneurship. On Friday, February 27th we’ll explore positive social and environmental change from a variety of perspectives. Allies in the School of Public Policy, Business, Arts & Humanities, Behavioral and Social Science, Agriculture & Natural Resources, Engineering, and the Academy for Innovation & Entrepreneurship will host sessions that motivate positive change and emphasize entrepreneurial thinking. Shira Shafir, Director of Social Innovation at TOM’s Shoes will keynote the event! Oh by the way, it’s free to UMD students, staff, and faculty so register nowto reserve your spot!

Volunteer. Connect. Network. Want to network with impact-driven students from across the globe, learn from social impact all-stars, and help make the world’s largest convening for social entrepreneurship in higher education a success? Sign up to volunteer at the Ashoka U Exchange. By giving some of your time to support this premiere social impact event you’ll gain access free of charge, and get a (very cool) free t-shirt. Email with your name and hours of availability on February 26-28, 2015.

Sharpen Your Impact Skills. Applications are open for all kinds of incredible 2015 opportunities focused on skill building for social impact. Three that we don’t mind shamelessly promoting are Social Innovation Fellows (SIF), Nonprofit Consulting Program (CTW), and Maryland Social Entrepreneur Corps (MSEC). SIF applications are due February 9th, CTW applications are due February 2nd and MSEC applications are due March 1st! Send any questions you have to

Get Inspired. Read a Book. Break into that stack of books you haven’t had time to read during the semester. Don’t have anything lined up? Swing by CSVC and borrow Mission in a Bottle or Building Social Business. We’re happy to make other suggestions as well!

Rest and Recover. One of the best ways to come back in the spring ready to do amazing things is to take a much deserved break! Trust us – R&R is the best way to bring the best you to your spring endeavors.

Good luck on your productive, restorative and enjoyable break. We’ll be here at CSVC, so feel free to drop us an email or swing by the office.

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