Like many good ideas, the first Temple University American Marketing Association (TU-AMA) Talent Show was born from a joke among colleagues and friends.
“There are so many people in our organization with cool talents. For years, we joked about doing a talent show,” says Kevin Cassidy, Class of 2022 and co-director of the Social Impact Committee within TU-AMA. “So Shay [Strawser, co-director of the Social Impact Committee] and I started thinking, what would it look like if we actually wanted to do this as a fundraising concept for our team?”
The show featured talent from across the student professional organization, from saxophone and cello playing to cooking classes with the goal of raising money for the Hoot-a-THON. With almost 40 attendees, the group raised $648 in one hour that went toward their overall goal.
TU-AMA brought their philanthropic chops to Hoot-a-THON, Temple’s Miracle Network Dance Marathon that works to raise awareness and funds for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital and CHOP. TU-AMA was recognized as a top team for fundraising and participants. With a team of 30 members, they raised $5,121.94. 100% of these funds will be donated to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital with 18% towards charitable care, 12% supporting medical research, 15% going to life-saving equipment and 55% providing education, patient services and advancement services.
“The mission of TU-AMA is to transform student lives by offering members opportunities to become experienced marketers,” says Shay Strawser, Class of 2022. “We focus on enhancing business knowledge and building personal networks—but the realm that Kevin and I focus on is connecting members to the community and creating a positive impact by leveraging our marketing skills any way we can.”
To prepare for a mainly virtual experience within their SPO, Strawser and Cassidy researched any and all volunteer and partnership opportunities. “For us, just navigating this virtual landscape has been a lot of research and trial and error, and we are grateful that much of what we’ve done has been successful,” says Strawser.
During the 2020-21 academic year, TU-AMA had a variety of goals related to giving back to their city and neighborhood. Through fundraising campaigns and socially-distanced neighborhood cleanups, they offered more than six volunteering events and three non-monetary fundraisers throughout the fall and spring semesters.
“I’ve always been really passionate about positively impacting the communities I am a part of,” says Strawser. “I am always wanting to go out and volunteer and just be involved as much as I can, so I became a member of TU-AMA my sophomore year knowing that I eventually wanted to be on the Executive Board. As I became more involved in the social impact side of things, I knew that was the committee I wanted to commit to—it feels less like a job and more like pursuing a passion.”
Cassidy’s path to the Social Impact Committee was through another flagship aspect of TU-AMA—Cherry Consulting. Cherry Consulting is a nonprofit, student-run marketing consulting firm that provides insight-driven research, market strategy and innovation for clients.
“I worked on a project that was a startup called Navigating Addiction that helps treat narcotic overdose. I was just a general body member at the time, but I really appreciated what we were doing for them,” says Cassidy. “I felt really proud of the presentation we made for investors. I worked on two other projects as an associate project manager—one for the Therapy Center of Philadelphia and another for Temple’s Office of Sustainability. Shay was my partner for the sustainability project, and that work really solidified my own desire to continue doing work in the social impact and corporate social responsibility (CSR) realm.”
This CSR-focused drive is common among business students like Strawser and Cassidy.
“I think that recent movements, like the resurgence of Black Lives Matter sparked by the death of George Floyd, and just more generally the push towards diversity in workplaces—we’re seeing now that CSR goes hand-in-hand with approaching those topics the right way,” says Strawser. “COVID has also really brought to light a lot of sustainability issues that we’re seeing with corporations and production. It really wasn’t in the spotlight before, but it has become intertwined with the missions of people and businesses. Our generation, or the generation that is moving up in the workforce, is passionate about making things sustainable for the future. It’s a movement right now that is really positive, and we have to keep the momentum going.”
To learn more about TU-AMA and the Social Impact Committee, visit their website.