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Personal Growth, Make a Better World, NSLS Blog, Blog

How to Make the World a Better Place

In a world filled with challenges, it’s essential to recognize our individual roles in making a difference, whenever and wherever possible. We can all collectively create a positive impact and contribute to a better future by taking small actions. Let’s explore ways to improve the world through dedicated actions, both great and small. Get inspired by  NSLS members actively supporting their local communities!

What Causes Do You Care About?

Finding the causes that resonate with us is the first step toward making a meaningful change. Identifying the problems we are passionate about solving and the changes we want to see is essential.

Amari Bradsher from the University of North Texas wisely states, "When looking to make a difference in the community, it is important to have a passion to help others." 

The NSLS at the University of North Texas volunteer at a campus event

Scott Brasher from Columbia Southern University also emphasized the importance of finding and understanding our passion for helping others, as he decided to volunteer as a fireman to support his community's needs.

NSLS member Scott Brasher volunteers as a fireman in his community

How You Can Make the World a Better Place

Taking action is crucial in transforming our intentions into tangible results. For example, getting involved on campus and in your local community is an excellent way to make a difference. Let’s explore more ways to help make a better world:

Volunteer in Your Community

Active participation in local community service projects is a great way to make an impact. Whether it's helping out at shelters, food banks, or environmental cleanups, every act of service makes a difference.

Skylar Wingo and the NSLS chapter at Old Dominion University recently assisted the Chesapeake Bay Fund in cleaning the Elizabeth Trail and surrounding Chesapeake Bay area. They chose this cause to help keep the community around their campus clean.

The NSLS at Old Dominion University volunteered to clean up their local community

John Reaves from Columbia Southern University volunteered as a local Auxiliary Police Officer and for the County Sheriff for over 20 years. As he shares, "I still volunteer my time in law enforcement. The thank yous I receive are more rewarding than anything."

NSLS member John Reeves volunteers in law enforcement in his community


Organizing events focused on fitness, mental health, or nutrition can create awareness and encourage individuals to prioritize their well-being and self-care. 

Leading by example, Zymec Ramsey from Columbia Southern University partnered with the wellness center at Perdue Foods to provide education and resources for men's mental health. He also shared his own mental health experiences and encouraged others to seek help when they feel the need.

Zymec Ramsey from the NSLS chapter at Columbia Southern University provides education and resources for men's mental health

Build a Community

Fostering a sense of community and inclusivity within our colleges is crucial. We can create a supportive network that uplifts and empowers individuals by organizing events and activities that bring people together.

Support Your Peers

Creating a supportive and inclusive environment is essential for the well-being of students and community members. These efforts help instill impactful emotional and mental support.

For instance, Cordney Lewis from American Military University volunteers with NAMI (National Alliance Mental Illness), sharing his story and providing free support services to individuals in the community.

Cordney feels it's important to give back to society and proudly explains, "I volunteer with NAMI (National Alliance Mental Illness). Recently, I hosted a table at the Hampton VA Medical Center.  I've also shared my story at the Virginia Beach Psychiatric Hospital.  Attendees are from every demographic in the community."

NSLS member Cordney Lewis from American Military University volunteers with NAMI

Addressing our peers' essential health and safety needs is also crucial in creating a more equitable society. 

Lisa from Lake Land College recognized the worker shortage within their college Food Pantry. She worked with the Executive Board to provide support when workers were unavailable, ensuring students had access to essential resources.

Lisa proudly shared, “Our chapter of the NSLS saw a worker shortage within our college food pantry. The Executive Board worked with the area to sign up and cover times when no workers were scheduled. In particular, on days when the food was being delivered, they needed a lot of help. Overall, this was a very beneficial opportunity for members and the college!"

Lake Land College chapter of the NSLS volunteers in their college food pantry

Get Creative

Art, music, writing, and other creative outlets can be powerful tools for raising awareness about important issues and inspiring change. 

William "Craig" Clark from the University of Phoenix has dedicated his artistic talents to supporting various nonprofit efforts, donating his Art to fundraising auctions, and contributing to causes such as food banks and animal welfare. 

Craig reflects on first showing his art at age fourteen: "My first art show was at a cafe that was involved in nonprofit efforts in Anchorage, Alaska. A percentage from the sales of my art went back into that cafe's nonprofit efforts. Throughout the past thirty years of exhibiting my art, I have donated to (many) nonprofit art auctions."

Advocate for Causes You Care About

Advocacy is pivotal in driving social, political, and environmental change. By joining or forming advocacy groups and lobbying for change, we can amplify our voices and make a lasting impact. 

For example, Elton Dean from Post University self-published a children's book to create awareness and acceptance for children on the autism spectrum.

Elton has a young son on the autism spectrum, which inspired him to create more opportunities for acceptance and understanding through philanthropy, He shares, "I self-published a children's book titled 'A Yeti Like Freddie: Talking to Kids About Autism'."

NSLS member Elton Dean from Post University shares his children's book about autism with a local class

Alexis McLane from the University of Phoenix has spent the past two years serving as a Court-Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). She also does work on behalf of vulnerable youth, sharing, "I work closely with other nonprofit organizations, such as Bob's Bikes and the Free Arts Foundation, to create memorable experiences for my assigned foster youth.”

Engage with Politics

Active engagement in politics is essential for shaping our society and advocating for positive change. Karrie Lorene King from Western Governors University plans to help the Education Committee with the League of Women voters, contributing to improving the education system.

Practice Sustainability

Promoting sustainability is vital for the well-being of our planet. By reducing waste, recycling, and encouraging others to do the same, we can contribute to a healthier environment. 

Audra Lewis from National Louis University is actively involved in solving food insecurity through education programming as a Lettuce Turnip the Beet Sustainability Collective.

Audra Lewis is a board member for the Lettuce Turnip the Beet Sustainability Collective


Organizing fundraising events for causes you care about involves planning and hosting activities such as charity runs, benefit dinners, silent auctions, and community fairs to gather financial support. It requires coordinating with volunteers, local businesses, and sponsors to ensure the event's success while raising awareness about the cause. 

Kylie Rice from Lindenwood University coordinated a dine-to-donate event with a local restaurant, Teri's Diner in Granite City, and collected items for silent auctions and raffles, raising over $1,000 for the cause of Down Syndrome awareness.

"The Down Syndrome Association of Greater St Louis raises funds every year through the Step up for Down Syndrome (SUDS) walk. Our team is Keeping up with Cambria. Cambria is my 4 year old daughter who also has Trisomy 21. The DSAGSL has been there every step of the way since we received her diagnosis when I was pregnant. In total, for 2024, we raised $1,525 for team #keepingupwithcambria!"


Kimberly Kramer from Columbia Southern University and her local Mardi Gras Krewe, Krewe of SWAT (Saints With Aggressive Tendencies), focused on giving back to the community. In 2023, they participated in events that raised $900,000 for the Pensacola community. "We hosted the 3rd Annual Bread Pudding Cook Off, raising over $31,000 for Food Raising Friends, a nonprofit providing meals to children and families in need."

Kimberly Kramer hosted a baking fundraiser to provide meals for families in need


Engage in research projects to solve real-world problems, such as renewable energy, public health, or social justice.Develop projects or startups that address social, environmental, or economic issues.

Aleesa Fairley from Southern New Hampshire University created a period supply drive, collecting over 5,000 products in one month for those in need. With help from friends and family, she created over 100 kits for donation to outreach partners. This project evolved into a nonprofit called FloSquad, which now also provides postpartum and incontinence supplies. 

Aleesa Fairley founded the nonprofit FloSquad

Appreciate Culture

Promote understanding and appreciation of different cultures through exchange programs, cultural events, and open dialogues.

Ashley Singleton from Walden University volunteered at Teen Summit 2024, where students from various high schools in the Richmond, VA region came together to share their multicultural experiences. They engaged in discussions about school, family, friendships, sex, drugs, alcohol, religion, human trafficking, civil unrest, and politics. This event, held at the Greater Richmond Convention Center, aimed to spark grassroots conversations and foster student understanding.

Lift Others Up

Create or join mentorship programs to guide younger students or peers in their personal and academic growth.

Andrew T. Iannarelli from Lionel University volunteered for community children's outreach programs with MCAS Miramar MCCS, where he guided kids during the Mini-Marine Boot Camp. "I coordinated volunteer Marines, set up and broke down the event, and led kids through activities, ensuring they were organized, hydrated, and having fun."

Andrew T. Iannarelli leads kids through a mini-Marine camp

Manuel Caride from Capella University volunteered with Urban Surf 4 Kids, a nonprofit in San Diego that uses surfing to help foster youth with PTSD from abandonment. He shares, "As an in-water surf instructor, I taught kids ages 7-17 how water can be healing. My goal was to give them a day to feel ordinary and carefree. Having faced similar trauma as a child, I joined this organization to provide kids a safe space to talk or just be kids."

Urban Surf 4 Kids uses surfing to help foster youth with PTSD

Use Your Platform

Give talks, presentations, or workshops on critical social issues to educate and inspire others. Use social media platforms to spread awareness, share informative content, and mobilize people for causes you believe in. Use technological skills to develop apps or platforms that address societal issues, like mental health apps or educational platforms for underserved areas.

Kalli Gregory from Bowling Green State University founded a non-profit called Trent's Triumph, inspired by my brother's experience with cerebral palsy. The organization aims to help those with cerebral palsy lead happy and successful lives.

One of the most significant skills Kalli needed was the ability to speak publicly. She explains, “Starting my advocacy efforts in the 6th grade, I was nervous, but now, I have spoken to over 6,500 people across Ohio, sharing my brother's story and achievements.”

Kalli Gregory speaks publicly for her nonprofit Trent's Triumph

Focus on Your Personal Development

Continuously work on personal growth and education to be a more informed, empathetic, and effective change-maker.

Brooke Ann Milbocker from Capella University volunteered with disabled veterans and children with disabilities utilizing equine-assisted therapy at Bravehearts, a therapeutic riding 501(c)(3) organization. She grew up as an equestrian on a horse farm.

As a disabled veteran herself due to PTSD, Brooke explains how working with horses and those in need allowed her to harness her past experiences uniquely: “Volunteering was a way to give back and find healing for myself while helping others through the therapeutic power of horses.”

NSLS member Brooke Anne Milbocker volunteers with equine therapy

We hope these examples inspire you to act today to make a difference in your community and the world.

By developing your leadership skills with the NSLS, you can become a more effective advocate, mentor, and change-maker. Embrace opportunities for personal growth and use your platform to inspire and uplift others.