This group of students is doing something amazing
IvyCORPS is the next big thing at Cornell – and the students involved are just getting started
It really is no surprise that Cornell has no shortage of community organizations, from the ever-present APO to College Mentors for Kids, but there’s a new organization on campus that’s filling a different niche.
Ivy Community Outreach and Public Service (IvyCORPS), is a student-run, inter-Ivy initiative that was created as the philanthropy division of the Ivy Council, a student union for all eight Ivy League schools. IvyCORPS was first founded in 1999, but it has been dormant in recent years until it was brought back earlier this school year. Alyson Kim, the junior who is currently spearheading IvyCORPS, recreated IvyCORPS because she thought that the resources available to Ivy League students should be used for a greater purpose and to benefit the public.
This June, IvyCORPS will be launching its first annual Summer of Service in New York City, and it will consist of multiple events, from college workshops and SAT tutoring to the Days of Service, where participants will be working with different agencies in New York to deliver food and care packages to people who are homeless around the city.
I spoke with Alyson and George Mao, who is organizing the Days of Service, about IvyCORPS.
Why did you decide it was time to bring back IvyCORPS?
Alyson Kim: IvyCORPS is a very special project for me, because I have spent the entirety of my college career with the Ivy Council, uncertain of its purpose. Why do we bring together 8 of the most prestigious universities in the country every year? For me, to come together to empower those around us was that purpose. Our respective institutions provide us with a plethora of resources to better ourselves.
Why did you choose to join IvyCORPS?
What do you hope for IvyCORPS to become in the future?
AK: I hope that IvyCORPS and the Summer of Service will become a tradition among students, alumni, and faculty of the Ivy League, to come together every year to take what we have to help our communities propel forward.
GM: I would love to see IvyCORPS expand across the nation so that students and alumni from all over can participate. DC and Philadelphia would definitely be two prominent locations for events in the near future. I hope IvyCORPS can be a medium through which people rekindle their service spirit, something I think is so often lost once people get to college and lose sight of the world outside of campus. Especially at the Ivy level where students are so career-driven, we take for granted just how privileged we are and just how many resources we have to make a real change. Even a little effort from many individuals would make a big impact on those who need it the most.
The spirit of service and initiative are at the heart of IvyCORPs, which will be expanding to the other seven Ivy schools in the fall. There are also plans to further expand IvyCORPS later on down the line, to include events across the nation, to cities like Washington, D.C., or Los Angeles. Lofty goals? Perhaps, but also a testament to the dedication to public service.