Central Texas College (CTC) Net Impact was recently named a finalist for the national organizations’ Chapter of the Year award. CTC, which won the award in 2018, is one of four finalists in this year's Undergraduate category. The Chapter of the Year honor exemplifies dedication to Net Impact’s mission through dynamic events, programming and partnerships.

In addition to the undergraduate category, Net Impact also recognizes its national graduate school and professional chapters as well as the international student and international professional chapters. “Each year, Net Impact selects finalists from a pool of undergraduate, graduate and professional chapters in the United States and internationally that achieved Gold status,” said Chastity Clemons, CTC business administration professor and Net Impact sponsor. “As a finalist, our next step is to submit a short video and a written component to provide more insight and details on our chapter’s accomplishments and impact from the past year.”

Once submitted, a panel of three judges, comprised of one representative from a Net Impact sponsor company, a board member and a staff member, will evaluate each finalist’s submission and determine the winners which are scheduled to be announced in April.

CTC Net Impact’s projects during the past year included Up to Us – a national debt campaign designed to educate peers on the country’s long-term national debt, how it could affect their economic opportunities and what the current student generation can do to have a voice in raising awareness of our fiscal challenges. The project included three Digital Days of Action in which Net Impact held a virtual essay contest, a green table talk providing an informational overview of the nationl debt and a game, “Wheel of Debt” to further engage students on the topic.

Two other projects were held in collaboration with Garden of Hope of Central Texas. First, “Royal Impact” was established to provide necessities to foster children. Net Impact members created wooden boxes for the children to carry their personal belongings and hygiene products.

The second project, “InnerView,” involved members making cards and trinkets of encouragement then mailing them to elderly residents and young foster children to uplift them during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Through CTC Net Impact’s Lemonade University, two events were held in conjunction with the national Lemonade Day, locally sponsored by First National Bank. “We have been a part of Lemonade Day for the last 11 years, said Clemons. “This year, we held two ‘Lemon U’ events to help educate children on becoming entrepreneurs. We taught them how to create, develop, market and manage a business which, in this case, is a lemonade stand. The difference this year is the kids had to learn how to continue their business and become sustainable and profitable in the midst of a pandemic.”

Net Impact Chapter of the Year finalists can win up to $300 to support chapter activities and additional opportunities. Finalists also receive a special logo, recognition on Net Impact’s website, social media, newsletter and at Net Impact events and promotion through other Net Impact channels.

Net Impact is a global community of students and professionals who want to become the most effective agents of change. With more than 350 chapters in nearly 40 countries, Net Impact helps students broaden their thinking, build their networks and scale their impact beyond just individual actions and emphasizing the power of the business sector to drive social and environmental change.

Photo: Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Central Texas College Net Impact chapter was able to engage students and educate them on our country’s national debt by playing “Debt Feud” as part of the Up To Us project.