City College’s own Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network Chapter is among nine honorees receiving a grant for Extraordinary Creativity and Effectiveness by the MacArthur Foundation. The award, good for a sum of $750,000, was announced February 4th.

According to the MacArthur Foundation, the award is “both a recognition of past achievements and an investment in the future.” The Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network at City College will use the money to create a cash reserve, overhaul its IT infrastructure (data, communications, technology), and develop scalable training systems.

The Roosevelt Institute is the first and largest student-run student policy organization in the United States. It spans across 38 states with 120 different chapters, mobilizing young people to develop policy solutions at the local, state, and national level, while providing them the opportunity to engage with community leaders and elected officials.

In total, nine nonprofits worldwide received this award. There’s no application process, as the MacArthur Foundation doesn’t seek or accept nominations. Organizations are judged by their creativity, effectiveness, development, and must show strong leadership with stable financial management.

The student-president of City’s Roosevelt | Campus Network Chapter, Moustafa Elshaabiny, shared insight on what’s difficult about enacting policy change, “The two most difficult tasks are to lobby politicians, and then survive the government’s bureaucratic system especially if our policy solution includes re-evaluation of their budget to alleviate the problem being addressed. Furthermore, we sometimes experience a pushback from corporations that influence our elected officials and whose agendas conflict with our progressive agenda.”

Immediate plans for our chapter include advancing policy solutions drafted last semester, and beginning the process of putting them into action.

Long term goals include: fostering the idea of meaningful political participation among young people, providing students a platform where they can work in collaborative environments to address the issues confronting their generation, continuing to be an outlet and amplifier for student voices that leads to young people being recognized as an integral part of the political system.

More information on the Roosevelt Institute can be found at RooseveltInstituteCCNY.org.

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