CEO Weekly INsights
Current Thoughts on CSR
How a Nonprofit CEO is Turning Grade School Students and Donors into Heroes
March 7, 2018
The National Liberty Museum, under the leadership of CEO Gwen Borowsky, stands out as one of the most exciting and innovative attractions in the highly competitive Philadelphia museum market. Loved by children and adults alike for its inspiring stories about people whose character and courage have expanded liberty for all, the museum provides a unique educational program that teaches kids how to become great citizens through acts of heroism. It is inspiring tens of thousands of schoolchildren, as well as attracting companies and foundations engaged in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
With its mission of promoting the lasting importance of liberty and civic engagement, the National Liberty Museum is helping young people grow successfully as values-based leaders through its Young Heroes Outreach Program (YHOP).
“Through YHOP, students between grades 4-8 develop the skills to become positive agents of change in their schools and communities. They use them to address issues like bullying, violence and abuse, like the stories of local, national and international young hero exemplars that are highlighted in the program’s curriculum,” says Gwen.
YHOP teaches students how to become great citizens.
“YHOP serves multiple classes in each participating school during the entire school year. An interesting question the students learn to answer is “how would a hero act?”.
Through the program, the students learn First Amendment themes and work on a project that makes a positive contribution to their school or community. This helps them acquire much needed social skills such as working collaboratively, exchanging ideas, planning, presenting ideas and turning their ideas into action. In short, they are learning civics and practicing democracy.
“A program aligned to our mission and our donors’ objectives.”
“The young people we serve with our character and civic education programs learn critical 21st century skills – leadership, empathy, social skills, and critical thinking that underpin academic success, responsible citizenship and, ultimately, the health of the community and liberty,” says Gwen.
“There are many corporations and philanthropists committed to preserving these values, committing dollars and time in YHOP to foster the next generation of active, engaged and responsible citizens.”
Corporate sponsors adopt an entire class for the school year.
YHOP is currently operating in 17 inner-city schools in Philadelphia. Each school has a specific corporate sponsor partner.
“It is the sponsor partner’s school. They own the result,” says Gwen.
“Besides providing financial support, they have opportunities for their employees to visit the school and get involved in the students’ projects or serve as role models throughout the year as fits their schedule.”
“The culmination is a civics fair in Girard College in June where all the YHOP schools and corporate support partners showcase their projects. The kids are proud and excited to explain their projects and demonstrate the impact on their schools and communities,” adds Gwen.
Corporate sponsors are invited on stage to offer comments and talk about their corporate-community mission, and why they support their school. In attendance are students and their parents, teachers and leaders in education, business, the community and the government. The media also attends. It’s an opportunity for the corporate sponsor to show the positive differences their CSR activities are making in the lives of Philadelphia students, their communities and the future.
According to one corporate sponsor, “The ROI of supporting YHOP is an opportunity to help create, develop, and support our future leaders. What other program can you contribute to where you are affecting the life of at-risk youth… and you can see the results in real-time through the students and through the impact to the school?”
Museums don’t typically provide an educational program that is a year-long residency in schools.
“It’s expensive. It’s time consuming. It’s a huge commitment. And we’re proud that YHOP has been independently evaluated, and has been proven to have a measurable impact on young people’s attitudes and behaviors. This is very important to our corporate investors. They are also excited about our future vision of expanding to a three-year middle school curriculum and a train-the-trainer model that can be delivered nationally. We put a tremendous amount of resources into this program because education is the base of our mission,” says Gwen.
She adds, “We’re also focusing on creating exciting new exhibits in our museum that align with this and other educational programs.”
“I admire the Satell Institute’s passion and commitment to help make our communities better places to live and work.”
“As a board member of the Satell Institute, I find it illuminating to hear a donor’s perspective to where and why they contribute. All have made a significant four-year commitment to a nonprofit, including our museum.* Each has a unique CSR way. And each is figuring this out. It’s an honor to hear and learn their approach as well as their successes and concerns,” says Gwen.
“The Think Tank and educational material, such as the Massive Online Open Course done with the University of Pennsylvania, provides expertise from a range of CSR thought leaders whose insights are relevant to our work.”
*Satell Institute founding corporate affiliate Tozour Energy Systems has made a four-year, $25,000-a-year donation to enable one Philadelphia school to participate in YHOP, creating opportunities to turn more at-risk youths into heroes.
2018 Intern Program
The Satell Institute provides summer internships and real-world experience to college juniors and seniors and graduate students with a 3.0 grade point average or higher. Successful candidates will contribute to the mission and work of a nonprofit Think and Do Thank, together with a stimulating and rigorous educational experience and unique opportunities for networking with practitioners in CSR.
Interns will work on defined projects under the guidance of a mentor and deliver meaningful results. Internships will include opportunities to meet and network with leaders of Philadelphia area businesses and nonprofits. This internship is a perfect fit for candidates eager to learn more about the potential impact of businesses and nonprofits contributing to the greater good in their communities. The internship commitment will last three months (thirteen weeks) between May 15, 2018 and September 2018. The start date can be flexible. Each three-month commitment must be completed between May 15, 2018 and September 30, 2018. This is a full-time internship for six interns, creating the 2018 Intern cohort. Interns will work and have access to our network of business, academic and nonprofit partners. They will participate in cohort activities. Interns will need to be in the greater Philadelphia area to participate in cohort and networking activities. The Satell Institute has offices in Malvern/Great Valley and Center City.
Internship opportunities include two research internship projects and two marketing internship projects.
The Program is overseen by Reva Raghupathi, PhD, MBA, Director of the Satell Institute Intern Program.
How to Apply
Applications should be emailed to Internships@thesatellinstitute.org and must be received by March 30, 2018 or earlier.
Please note, applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and will be closed when all positions are filled.
Qualified candidates are encouraged to apply as early as possible.
Please submit the following as one PDF file:
- Cover letter stating the skills and experience you would bring to the internship, why you would value this internship with the Satell Institute, and your firm availability (including start and end days)
- A short writing sample of approximately 3-6 double-spaced pages that would be most relevant to the internship(s) of interest
- Copy of academic transcript
In addition, brief recommendation letters, if desired, can be sent directly by the recommender to Internships@thesatellinstitute.org, with your name in the title, describing why you would be an exceptional candidate for the internship.