Updated: Sep 20, 2019
Here at UNI, Student Impact is pretty new. But what most people don't know is that Student Impact has history -- history that dates back to September, 2003.
'Students Today Leaders Forever' was a non-profit organization conceptualized by four college freshman at the University of Minnesota in their dorm room in the middle of the night. They envisioned a world where college freshman could make an impact in their community, be seen as servant leaders, and be agents for change.
Shortly after, an idea surfaced. Spring of their freshman year, they took a bus full of college students on what is now known as a the Pay It Forward Tour. Students traveled the country on a mission to reveal leadership through service, relationships, and action. Inspired by the success of the Pay it Forward Tour, STLF hosted summer camps as an additional avenue to serve others, reveal leadership, and promote long-lasting friendships among their participants.
We encourage you to take a four minute break from this read to check out the video below, made by STLF's founders a few years after establishing STLF as a non-profit.
The mission of STLF gained momentum and by 2018, STLF had expanded to dozens of college campuses, completed 798 Pay It Forward Tours, and affected the lives of over 30,000 participants. With the help of each chapters' core members, thousands of college students lives and communities were affected from successful Pay It Forward Tours.
On May 18th, 2018, STLF officially closed its doors with an emotional farewell, a BIG 'Yeah Buddy', and a call for servant leadership to continue in schools across the country. The announcement was met with social media posts, letters, and stories that highlighted the life-changing impact STLF organization made on participants.
Since the dissolution, Student Impact at the University of Northern Iowa and many other midwest universities, carry on the legacy, mission, and values of STLF to bring change to communities across the nation. Though chapters may vary across universities, one thing remains constant between all: the mission to reveal leadership through service, relationships and action.
In my time at the University of Northern Iowa, I have gotten the opportunity to experience the impact of Student Impact. In the spring of 2019, we filled a coach bus with 45 students and traveled to 6 cities in 9 days to assist communities in need... and we're doing going to do it all over again in 2020.
Attending the spring tour is not the only way to get involved with Student Impact. Committees of Student Impact want your help in planning social events, contacting volunteer organizations, and spreading awareness of our mission. Or, you can attend these awesome events that we hold to show your support for the organization. You can even help support us by following our social media accounts:
Facebook: UNI Student Impact
We're always looking to grow our organization on campus, support our community and beyond, and of course, make friends and have an amazing time.
Meet the team that makes this organization possible, and browse the rest of our website to get the full scoop on Student Impact.