Our students are reimagining the world. Through hands-on learning and research that directly addresses many of society’s most pressing challenges, they are becoming a part of something bigger than themselves. Providing a Bolivian village with its first source of reliable clean water. Empowering low-income middle school students by teaching them about careers in STEM. Combatting social injustice by addressing infrastructure inequity. With more than 100 student organizations with a mission of shaping leaders and building stronger communities, these are just a few examples of the work SMU students are leading to create a lasting, global impact and transform the world around them. The heart, passion and hard work that bring all this work to life wouldn’t be possible without a dedicated and generous community. You too can be a force for good by providing your support today.
Empowering today’s students to become tomorrow’s leaders and believe in a brighter future – that’s what the Geared Up program, started by Aleena Taufiq ’18, is doing with local middle-school students each day. Geared Up is an engineering enrichment program that is creating positive change in the lives of middle school students in disadvantaged school districts by immersing them in the world of engineering. Through engaging guest speakers and hands-on projects students learn about engineering disciplines, complete design challenges and develop leadership and presentation skills by sharing their own work. The program launched in Dallas last year at Irma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School and has expanded to Life School Oak Cliff, Edward H. Cary Middle School and more schools across the country.
One in nine people don’t have access to clean, easily accessible water. This startling reality of many communities locks them into poverty for generations, so the engineering students at SMU decided to do something about it. Engineers Without Borders, a nonprofit student organization, was formed to create a world in which every community is able to sustainably meet their basic human needs. They strive to help developing communities around the world drive educational and economic improvement by providing sustainable water, power, sanitation and infrastructure solutions. World-changers in the organization use engineering to bring hope and life to communities across the world, like the current, multiyear effort to bring a reliable source of clean water to a village in Bolivia.
Alternative Breaks is a student organization that is part of a national movement to spark personal transformation and positive change. Offering direct, meaningful community service opportunities during every academic break, students have the opportunity to travel across the country and around the world to perform vital services alongside reputable non-profit organizations. By encouraging experiences and connections outside their societal norm, members engage in quality service, gain education about important social issues and create positive social change.
“I’ve had the unique opportunity to understand the complex and deep-rooted causes of a broad range of social issues from environmentalism to disability rights.I will forever be grateful to SMU AB for shaping the curious, self-aware and active individual I am today.”– Albert Parks ’19, Alternative Breaks Site Leader
In 2005, Lauren Embrey traveled with the SMU Human Rights program to visit Auschwitz and other sites of the Holocaust. Moved by the experience, she and her sister Gayle funded the Embrey Human Rights Program (EHRP) to provide opportunities for promoting, defending and extending human rights in DFW as well as around the world. The launch of the program positioned SMU as a defender of justice and diversity, and sent a strong message to the community: if you want to learn how to create a world in which all people can not only survive, but thrive, come to SMU. EHRP offers majors and minors in human rights, as well as human rights travel experiences which have generated cross cultural partnerships and strengthened SMU’s international reach. The program’s community advocacy has proven the importance of higher education in 21stcentury society. Learn more about the world changing impact of EHRP
Azucena Milan ’20 grew up in Vickery Meadow, a low-income neighborhood of apartment complexes 10 minutes from SMU. She saw firsthand the difference between the cracked sidewalks and giant potholes by her high school and the properly maintained infrastructure only a quarter mile away. Now at SMU, she’s part of a four-student research group working with faculty member Barbara Minsker on a multifaceted approach to infrastructure equity that includes applications of big data, machine learning and social justice.
Get a bag that shows you’re a world changer. And inspire a middle-school student to become one, too. With your gift of $50 or more
- Give a Geared Up middle-schooler an SMU branded backpack
- Score this exclusive 100% natural cotton canvas tote
- Celebrate the impact you’re making on SMU – and future Mustangs
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