Student Stories — Haley Zullo @ Washington College

Haley Zullo didn’t let being a transfer student stop her from achieving her goal of founding a Nourish chapter. As a freshman at Virginia Commonwealth University, she and several friends planned on starting a chapter on their campus. Haley attended Summer Institute and left feeling excited about the possibility of being a chapter founder. She then made the decision to transfer to Washington College but remained determined to spread the Nourish mission:

I had so much inspiration and passion after going [to Summer Institute] that I couldn’t just give it up, I absolutely had to build my own chapter at WAC.”

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Haley soon discovered that starting a Nourish chapter comes with certain challenges. The chapter struggled at first with member retention and tried different strategies to increase participation. Board members sent text message reminders about meetings and set attendance requirements, but Haley found that the most effective way to increase participation was to form personal relationships with each member. She made an effort to talk to members when she saw them on campus and hosted several group bonding activities.

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Increased member retention has allowed the organization to participate in several successful ventures. They received several donations during “Paint out Poverty”, an event where students on campus paint inspirational words over the word “poverty”. Additionally, they partnered with the German Club to sell hand-painted mugs at Oktoberfest and earned triple their goal. Haley hasn’t been involved in an international Nourish project yet, but the chapter is  currently working with Helping Hands Cusco in Peru to “help educate children and improve quality of life.”

 

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Haley’s work with Nourish has shaped her outlook on the world as well as her long-term goals:

It 100% has shaped a lot about my goals and my world outlook, even though I’ve only been involved for about 6 months. I’ve always known I have wanted to work with community development, but Nourish really sparked that passion even more. After going to SI and learning more about Nourish, I was able to better understand how I can actually make a SUSTAINABLE impact on the world. Lots of other organizations have similar goals as Nourish, but I think NI really stands out because everything that we do makes a lasting and real impact.”

 

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