HW Venture hosts social impact workshop with Ralph M. Parsons Foundation program officer

Natalie Cosgrove

HW Venture hosted the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation program officer Kadar Lewis to teach a social impact workshop Dec. 10 . Lewis has been working in the social impact field for 20 years and came to discuss different ways to proactively help the school community.

Lewis holds a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from Harvard University , a Master’s Degree from California State University, Los Angeles and a Doctor of Education Degree from Loyola Marymount University. He is a social impact leader and a nonprofit executive.

The workshop began with several ice breakers and then transitioned into a slide show presentation discussing different types of ways to help initiate change through community service. . He also spoke of the importance of using our privileges to better the world.

“The reason that people need to be fed and the reason that people need to be clothed and can’t do it for themselves, is the real work that reaching the highest level of social impact is, ” Lewis said. “It means taking off all the structures of society that put people into these positions in the first place. It means not being okay with that, and perhaps sharing some of your power and sharing some of your privilege.”

Students better understand social impact

Students were able to have an open discussion with Lewis and answer his various prompt activities. He asked different questions about what students were concerned with in life and how giving back to the community made them feel.

“It broadened my view of ‘social impact,'”Founder of Venture club Sophia Rascoff ’23 said. “I used to think it had a very specific definition and only applied to community service and or entrepreneurialism for the benefit of the community such as a non-profit, but Kadar explained in his presentation how it can be much smaller scale things like helping a single person or even just having a job that benefits people such as head of school.”

Lewis continued with his presentation in explaining the importance of both getting involved and staying involved.

“Most things that are difficult and altruistic in nature, the further down the road you go, you are going to look around and you’ll see less and less people making that commitment that you are willing to make, and that might be the most powerful lesson that you will learn,” Lewis said.