New Ballard Center Club Fills Gap in Social Impact

PROVO, Utah – Sep 04, 2019 –

In March 2019, BYU Marriott’s Ballard Center for Economic Self-Reliance began offering a new club, the Social Impact Professional Association (SIPA). The club is centered around finding positive solutions to address challenges that today's society faces and is open to students from all majors across campus.

SIPA focuses on three goals, which includes providing students with information about careers in social impact, assisting students to develop skills necessary to find a job, and creating a space where students can network with each other as well as social impact professionals. 

Club president Susan Davidson discovered the need for career services in social impact while interning with the Ballard Center last year. “Students who want to go into social impact don’t have a career counselor who can help them,” Davidson says. “The field is so broad; there are so many ways you can make an impact in the world.”

Davidson, a junior from Virginia studying economics, sees SIPA as an opportunity for students to get a head start as they plan their careers in social impact. “If you want to go into social impact, the club is another resource for you,” she says. “SIPA will be a space to build skills and interact with others with shared interests and goals.”

In support of the club’s goals, weekly meetings feature one of two types of events: guest speakers or skills workshops. Guest speakers are professionals in social impact who focus on providing students with information and answering questions students have about the field. Skills workshops cover a variety of topics, including how to ace an interview, write a résumé, search for a job, and develop other skills necessary to find employment.

Alicia Gettys, director of communications and operations for the Ballard Center, looks forward to seeing how the new club will grow and aid students at BYU. “Most students I meet are not motivated exclusively by a paycheck,” Gettys says. “They want a meaningful career that makes a positive social impact. However, it can be difficult to know where to start. I’m excited that this club will bridge that gap.”

SIPA is the third club currently offered by the Ballard Center, joining the Changemaker Club and the Nonprofit Management Student Association (NMSA). The Changemaker Club is an introductory club for students seeking involvement in social innovation and NMSA is a local chapter of the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance and prepares students specifically interested in working for a nonprofit.

SIPA will meet on Wednesday evenings this fall, beginning with an opening social on 11 September. Students interested in joining the club or who have any questions can email sipa.byu@gmail.com.

Students talking in a study room.
Photo courtesy of BYU Photo.

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Paul Swenson