Lend for America

by on May 11, 2013

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College students have a reputation for being broke, yet they always find a way to buy the essentials (most often that seems to be beer). In fact, most students borrow money to pay for their education, so it seems a bit odd to consider them a lending source. Yet that’s exactly what Lend for America is doing. They’re a New Brunswick, NJ based non-profit that believes that “with the right tools, college students can change the lives of their communities’ low-income families and gain a broader social perspective.” The tools they are talking about are centered around microfinance–a way that people even on college student budgets can make a meaningful investment.

Lend Them a Hand

Lend for America’s inspiration comes from the fact that so many college students “hunger for a substantive way to make a difference in their communities.” Instead of relying on individual students to act alone, they encourage students to form “campus microfinance institutions.” They already have chapters at Brown, ASU, UNC, Yale, Alabama, Georgetown, Rutgers, Grinnell, SMU, Notre Dame, Bentley, Wisconsin, and Northwestern, and they’re looking to add more. Lend for America supports these organizations with “access to [their] resource library, small grants, invitations to our annual conference, unlimited technical assistance including on-site consulting, and networking opportunities.” It’s a really cool model that I think has a lot of potential. If you’d like to be part of it, check out Lend for America’s Internships page, where they mention their Fellowship Program (the link is broken, but that link is the right link). The application deadline has passed, but I’m not sure if that means the opportunities are gone. Additionally, Lend for America has a Web Developer Intern position posted on Idealist. Both the fellowships and the internship are paid.

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