A Weber State University Master of Business Administration course recently donated $6,000 to charities dedicated to addressing issues of poverty and inequality.
Economics professor Michael Vaughan donated the funds. Three teams of students in his MBA 6440 class were given $2,000 each to classify, select and fund a nonprofit organization in Weber or Davis County.
In deciding what charity to give the funds to, Megan Casper said she was amazed by how many local people are helped by different charities.
“I found out, just by asking around, how many people these charities help,” she said in a press release. “There were a couple of people I know who had gone to a charity for emergency help with food. One of the families in my child’s daycare lived in a homeless shelter for a time. That touched me. You don’t think it’s the people right around you who need help.”
Vaughan is the former WSU provost and is now director of the Center for the Study of Poverty and Inequality. He wanted his students to learn about the responsibility of philanthropic leadership.
The assignment was for the students to formulate assessment criteria, taking data and spending details into account when making the decision of where they would donate the funds. Vaughan picked teams so that they would not be in groups bigger than five.
Each of the teams had $2,000 to allocate to a charity focused on poverty or economic inequality. Vaughan picked the topic of economic inequality and poverty because it is something that he is interested in.
The students had a real task, which provided them with real life experience on how to manage the funds and come up with their own plans.
“The students indicated that they plan to do volunteer work because of this experience and they would like to incorporate service more in their families and daily lives,” Vaughan said.
The three local charities that the students chose to donate to were: Homeless Veterans Fellowship, Youth Impact and The Christmas Box International. Homeless Veterans Fellowship helps homeless veterans get back on their feet and provides housing, while Youth Impact is an after school program that helps to engage youth. The Christmas Box International provides assistance to prevent child abuse and to improve the quality of life for children who have been abused.
“Hands down, Weber State University is our partner,” said Youth Impact Director Robb Hall. “We are so thankful for their continued support.”
Weber State University is also financially involved to help better the Youth Impact program.
When asked where the money that was donated from the WSU students to Youth Impact goes, Hall said it will go into the general budget, which will hopefully flow into the Christmas activities that will be coming up in the next few weeks.