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The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

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Loyola core values shine in the new Social Impact Fellowship Program


Loyola University Maryland prides itself on not only focusing on the needs of the individual but also on the needs of others. Practicing these core values, Loyola’s newly-founded Social Impact Fellowship Program highlights the inherent social value of all communities on campus. In the past few months, the program has been developed and executed through the partnership of Loyola and Mission Partners, a social impact consulting agency in Bethesda, Maryland. Students from all class years and from a variety of majors who are inducted into this program learn to utilize problem-solving skills and effective collaboration in order to create solutions for complex diversity issues present in the surrounding communities and beyond.

The main diversity issues that the inducted fellows will focus on include issues of race and identity. Each cohort of inductees, which includes up to 12 undergraduate students chosen annually, will be asked to identify a critical problem that contributes to society’s current inequities. Through extensive research and hands-on learning in a rigorous social justice curriculum, the fellows are expected to come to a solution that remedies these inequities within a 10-month period. As a result, students in this program are given the opportunity to refine their operational and leadership skills.

Andrea Ramirez Centeno ’21, an honors student and new Social Impact fellow, believes that the program will immediately benefit communities surrounding Loyola. “One of the program’s impacts in our community will be creating awareness to the problems that are prevalent in our direct surroundings. After this project, we will be able to empower the community and ourselves by showing that change is attainable if there is an effort to achieve it.”

Furthermore, Trevor Tormann ’22, also a newly inducted fellow, is anticipating the growth of his knowledge of social justice values and growth within the Loyola community. “When Loyola’s students are given the tools and opportunities to develop their leadership and innovation skills, the entire school community benefits. Fulfilling our definition of community, when one person does good, it resonates throughout the entire student body. In this case – social impact – students are given the resources to work collaboratively with the goal of alleviating social injustices and establish [sic] stronger bonds of community.”

New fellows are expected to meet on a monthly basis during the academic year, including some meetings at the Mission Partners office, which include a mixture of designing prototypes for solutions, actively conducting research within the community, and identifying all aspects of specific problems. Each Social Impact fellow will receive a $1,000 stipend in order to fuel innovative solutions to these complex diversity issues.

The potential of this new program to cultivate positive changes is limitless, and as Tormann said, “Changing the world has to begin somewhere. Through Loyola’s Social Fellows Program, we have the potential to change the world starting right here in our Baltimore community.”


Featured Image: Courtesy of Loyola University Maryland

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Loyola core values shine in the new Social Impact Fellowship Program