The Compass Fellowship

America's largest on-campus social entrepreneurship program

Learn more about our annual conference, Shift Series, here.

Letter from the Executive Director

Hello Prospective Compass Fellow!

Executive Director Alex Simon

Executive Director Alex Simon

Thanks for stopping by to learn about The Compass Fellowship. Some exciting things are happening at the intersection of the university experience and sustainable social change, and we’re lucky to be in the middle of it. Perhaps you’ll join us.

At Compass, we believe that a student’s time in college is a terrific time to develop an entrepreneurial mindset. We have this idea that, surrounded by a strong community of mentors, students can bring a values-driven, action-oriented approach to college and in doing so dramatically increase the dividends of their experience on-campus.

More importantly, this idea has workedOver 1000 students have gone through The Compass Fellowship. These members of the Compass tribe are entrepreneurs, intrapreneurstinkerers, and leaders of many stripes on and off campus. They’re using Google Glass technology to limit the challenges visually-impaired people face every day. They’re mobilizing the next generation of women leaders in schools around the world. They’re doing these things, and many more.  

I invite you to check out some of the stories from our community below and learn a bit more about what we’re all about. If anything you read below resonates, please apply.

Best!

Alex Simon

From Student to Student:

Here's some of the advice passed on to next year's Fellowships from recent graduates:

Application Due Dates vary by school and are listed below. If your school due date isn't listed below, please reach out to alex.simon@compasspartners.org:

American University - September 26

Fordham University - September 21

Howard University - September 12

U of Pennsylvania - September 8th - 11:59pm

George Washington University - September 12

Georgetown University - September 11 - 11:59PM

Fairfield University - October 10

Boston College - September 23 

Indiana University - September 15

Stanford University - October 11 - 11:59PM

Tufts University - September 23

Emory University - September 22

Many students are forced to make false choices, such as between:

At Compass, we believe:

You should make good while making money.
You should think and act adventurously.

Challenging our Fellows to make good with money is a strong incentive and enabler for creating long-term social impact.

Building a social business based on the ideas you love and problems you face is the single best way to learn to make a difference.

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750 NEW PEOPLE

join our community yearly

100 + Partners

valuable resources and pipelines

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20 CAMPUSES

across the USA and Sweden

50 + Events

in 8 unique, established regions

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1000 STUDENTS

graduated the Fellowship by 2014

250 + SPEAKERS

interact with Compass each year

Here's How We Do It:

 

 

We partner with forward-thinking universities to create a mentorship community of campus leaders and local CEOs, authors, and entrepreneurs to instill a proactive, values-based mindset while providing the skills and resources required to launch their own social ventures.

Meet the Compass Fellows!

Alice Wang

Alice Wang

Emily Raleigh

Emily Raleigh

Amy Chen

Amy Chen

Farhang Hooshmandnia

Farhang Hooshmandnia

Caroline Egan

Caroline Egan

Heather Hingston

Heather Hingston

Danielle Feerst

Danielle Feerst

Hunter Pritchard

Hunter Pritchard

Jack McDermott

Jack McDermott

Nicole Mortimer

Nicole Mortimer

Travis Smith

Travis Smith

 

...and 1000+ more!

I have always known that I wanted my life to be filled with work that pursued something greater than just monetary fulfillment; the Compass fellowship has given me the tools and direction I need to make that dream of mine a reality. I now understand that a ‘social business’ is not what a business could be, but what a business should be. The Compass culture is filled with so many wonderful, intelligent, and downright fun people, that I could not imagine my freshman year without it.
— Duncan Gillespie | Fellow, 09

And their ventures are extraordinary...

The Dynamic Speaking Label: Google Glass Barcode Reader for the Visually Impaired

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Our Fellowships exist on 20 amazing campuses in the US and Sweden, and we're actively building Fellowships at community colleges and additional entrepreneurship ecosystems.

The Team

Alex Simon, Executive Director

Alex Simon, Executive Director

Arthur Woods, Co-Founder

Arthur Woods, Co-Founder

Neil Shah, Co-Founder

Neil Shah, Co-Founder

Board of Directors

Tom Raffa

Tom Raffa

Tom Raffa is the President and founder of Raffa, P.C., a consulting, accounting, and technology firm started in 1984 with over 300 professionals dedicated to serving the nonprofit community. Raffa, P.C. provides services including audits, tax, consulting, technology, and outsourcing to over 500 nonprofit clients.  Tom has received the Volunteer Achievement Award from the Accountants for the Public Interest, the Smart CPA from the Washington Smart CEO magazine, and was a finalist for the 2007 Community Service Award. He has written articles for various national publications including The Nonprofit Quarterly, The Nonprofit Times, and the Chronicle of Philanthropy, covering various topics that affect the nonprofit sector.

Gouri Mirpuri is the founder of Connected for Good, a non-profit which connects people/organizations to Asia for good causes. She is also co-founder of Impact HUB Singapore(www.thehub.sg), the first co-work communal space for social entrepreneurs in Asia. Her twin passions for Social Entrepreneurship and Environment Issues started with her work at The Learning Farm (www.thelearningfarm.com) a decade ago. It is today an award-winning residential program providing vulnerable youth in Indonesia the appropriate agricultural and business training to become farmer-entrepreneurs. 

Gouri has lived in various countries over the past two decades and now resides in Washington DC with her diplomat husband. Here as well as in Asia she sits on the boards of various organizations that deal with youth empowerment, social entrepreneurship and environment activism.

Gouri Mirpuri

Gouri Mirpuri

Rich Tafel

Rich Tafel

Rich Tafel has provided strategic policy advice to nonprofits for the last decade on a variety of causes, including, AIDS programs for Africa, civil rights programs Latin America; and education and health care reform in the United States. He is a guest lecturer at Johns Hopkins University for the Urban Health and Advocacy. Prior to this, Rich founded the national office of Log Cabin Republicans in 1993. At the height of the culture wars he debated the likes of the Reverend Jerry Fallwell on Larry King Live and other opponents of gay equality. He has appeared on most major political TV programs and fought for appropriate AIDS funding and equality for gays and lesbians. During his tenure, Log Cabin Republicans went from an unknown entity to a well known brand in American political life.

At Compass, We Commit Unreasonably

With relatively few staff and monetary resources we've created the premiere 501c3 social entrepreneurship program, resulting in amazing new leaders and social businesses. With our established network and proven model we're ready to broaden our impact and enrich the lives and communities of many more budding change makers. If you're from a university, NGO, business or other stakeholder in entrepreneurship education, please see below for ways to engage with Compass!

Check out Shift Series, our annual, national conference!

...not just another speaker oriented conference; instead, it was a platform for like minded students to come together and bounce ideas off of each other. Every single person was extremely passionate about their ideas and was all super supportive of my venture. I had never been in an environment where it was so easy to connect with people and share our dreams with each other. The speakers and the attendees provided me with clear directions, valuable suggestions and contacts, and tremendous support; it was both heart warming and motivating to gain others’ approval. The best part is that I know the connections I made during the two days will continue to solidify and grow as we all move on with our ventures.
— Compass Fellow | UC-Berkeley '12

Aditi Shekar, reflecting on her session at the 2013 Shift Series National Conference.

"Companies for Causes:" Tom Raffa on building positive change into company DNA

Mentor and Inspire

Grow your skills and your impact by donating time and inspiration to the next generation of Compass Fellows.

 

Sustain Our Success

  • Invest in a Fellow
  • Bring Compass to Your Region
  • Sponsor an Event, like Shift Series

Partner to Enable

We're actively expanding our pipeline and resource partnerships and would love to speak with you about integrating your organization with our community!

Donate Now
 

Kenneth Cole Announces 2014 "Conscious Consumption" Grant Challenge

The value of my experience in the Compass Fellowship simply can’t be quantified, and I’ve tried. The best I can do is tell you that through Compass I got a job, started the business I never thought I could, and learned to see opportunity everywhere. I suppose those aren’t numbers, but they are the key successes of my professional life.

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