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Nourish International

Give the Gift of Nourish

October 31, 2014 | Posted in Uncategorized | By

The opportunity

Tomorrow, we will officially kick off our annual Give the Gift of Nourish Campaign! This year, we have been presented with a unique opportunity — Nourish International has been awarded a challenge grant of $40,000 from an anonymous donor to match all gifts 1:1 between November 1, 2014 and December 31st, 2014. This is a lofty goal, but a worthy one with the potential to generate $80,000 of crucial support for our programs. We need your help to meet this matching goal and empower young entrepreneurs across our 60 chapters. This match is the largest our organization has ever received. Let’s rise to the challenge and make a profound impact in the world.

Donate Now

Thanks to supporters like you, Nourish has grown tremendously in the past three years, but our work is far from meeting the demand for our services and far from reaching the level of impact we aspire to.

The motivation

IMG_9523 for web

Program Associate Ellen Moore, a former Nourish student from the Syracuse University Chapter, recently told a story that both saddened and motivated us at the National Office. Ellen participated in her Chapter’s Project with Global Health Response (GHNU) in Uganda this past summer. While the Chapter was building latrines for three villages, Ellen met a little girl who was blind due to an eye infection she caught as a newborn. These types of eye infections happen quite often in developing countries. In the United States, they are treatable and, if necessary, operable. But in rural Uganda, these infections often result in immense complications and cause blindness in infants. The baby girl was one of 20 infants that had to undergo surgery — an invasive and complicated procedure for a newborn in rural Uganda — because the infection was left untreated. She had both of her eyes removed and sadly, of the 20 babies that received the procedure, she was the sole survivor.

IMG_9504 for webIt’s hard to imagine the grief the 19 young mothers that lost their children will carry the rest of their lives. Ellen met many of these women, who have since turned their experiences into a commitment to improve the community. She said partnering with them was one of the most rewarding things she has experienced in her entire life.

The little girl, baby Leah — now blind — and her family were living in an unsafe home, sleeping on mud floors in a flood plain when GHNU found them. Ellen’s Chapter invested their Venture profits to work alongside the family and others in similar situations, in partnership with GHNU. The funds were used to help relocate the family to a safer homestead that could accommodate them; one equipped with a latrine that would be suitable for young women. Having an accessible latrine is extremely important, given that women often risk being kidnapped or suffering from sexual violence because they have to go out alone in the middle of the night simply to use the bathroom.

Why donate now?

As a result of Ellen’s experience in Uganda, she came to work at our National Office. Now, Ellen is on the front lines coaching 20 Nourish Chapter leaders across our network to implement sustainable development Projects effectively, lead their Chapter to success, and raise funds through small business Ventures. This summer, more than 50 students from her Chapters will have experiences just like hers. Ellen is on a journey to become a leader, change-maker, and an innovator in the fight to end extreme poverty within our lifetime. IMG_9509 for webNourish set her on that path.

At Nourish, we believe in a world where a child doesn’t have to die from a completely treatable illness. We belive in a world where a family doesn’t have to live in unsafe conditions, with the risk of violence, natural disaster, and communicable diseases. We believe that everyone deserves access to the basic resources needed to survive: water, food, shelter, healthcare, and education. We believe in opportunity, dignity, and always see the glass as half full. Labels of race, sexual orientation, and class do not oppress people in the world our Nourish students envision. In our world, love is a universal language, opportunities are rich, and violence is an exception. This vision may be idealistic, but it’s not idealism we fear, it’s apathy for idealism. There is a more beautiful world that our hearts know is possible, and we hope you will join us in creating it.

How you can help

1. Donate to Nourish by visiting between now and December 31. Your gift will be matched 1:1 up to $40,000.

Donate Now

2.Kick off your holiday shopping at The price of each item purchased will be matched 1:1 between now and December 31.

3. Share our holiday campaign with your friends on social media. We need your help to spread the mission of Nourish!

All funds will be invested in our mission to empower social entrepreneurs to make a lasting impact on extreme poverty. Leaders like Ellen and partners like GHNU will be able to continue to build the world we envision because of your gift. Thank you for your consideration of supporting us this holiday season and for the profound impact you make by partnering with us in this work.

Congratulations to our Venture Fund Competition winners!

October 28, 2014 | Posted in Uncategorized | By

Every year, the National Office holds a business plan and pitch competition among Nourish Chapters for seed capital investments in their innovative Venture ideas. This year, we were extremely impressed by all of the pitches we reviewed. Ultimately, we decided to award Ohio State University and Syracuse University $500 and $350, respectively, to implement their Ventures.

Ohio State’s business pitch detailed a plan to host their second annual ugly Christmas sweater sale. Last year’s sale was the Chapter’s most profitable Venture, earning them $800 to invest in their sustainable development Project in Ecuador. The Venture Fund seed capital will allow OSU to purchase additional sweaters at no further cost to the Chapter, meaning all revenue generated will be 100 percent profit. Akram Jabeer, the Chapter’s Co-Ventures Director, said he expects the profit to near $3,000 — a whopping 275 percent increase from last year’s sweater sale. “Receiving the Venture Fund gives our Chapter a boost in motivation as well as the confidence to approach every single Venture in the same demeanor as the Ugly Christmas Sweater Venture,” he said.

The Syracuse Chapter will hold its second annual Halloween costume thrift sale in the hopes of making it a tradition that students look forward to every year. The additional $350 will allow the Chapter to increase its supply of costumes and accessories, which will increase profitability of the Venture and help build the Nourish brand on campus and in the community. “If we didn’t receive this capital, we would have continued to launch the Venture, though with a smaller budget of $200,” said Ventures Director Eliza Kinnealey. “The Syracuse Chapter is so excited to be given this opportunity to scale our Halloween Thrift Sale.”

Boston College and Hope College received honorable mentions, earning them each $50 for marketing purposes. Boston College will launch BC Cupcakes, an online cupcake delivery service that will allow parents, students and friends to purchase cupcakes for events or loved ones on campus. Hope College will invest in an on-campus coffee cart, where they will sell local coffee and baked goods in dorm lobbies. Stay tuned for updates on their progress!





2013-2014 Annual Report- Hot off the Press

October 21, 2014 | Posted in Uncategorized | By

Dear Nourish Supporters, Students, Staff, Alumni, Partners, and Friends: 

What a year we have had! I wanted to personally ensure you received a copy of our 13-14 Annual Report sharing highlights of our best year yet! With you, we saw the following success last year:

  • Nourish Chapter on 60 campuses across North America
  • Pilot Program launched at 5 high schools
  • 800 Active Nourish Students
  • 900 Nourish Alumni
  • $106,000 invested in sustainable development projects abroad
  • $167,000 earned through ventures with a 5:1 ROI
  • 28 Projects completed in 11 countries

It is my hope that you see the magnitude of Nourish’s work and the integral part you and your support plays in furthering this work. As you read through this Annual Report, I hope you are filled with pride in knowing that you made this success possible. We are filled with gratitude for your belief in our mission and your commitment to ensuring the success of our students as they become global change makers and develop into the leaders of tomorrow.

My Sincere Thanks,

Kelly's Signature



Kelly Leonhardt Phoenix

Executive Director

Nourish International

NI 13-14 Annual Report – Download by clicking the link

50/50 Fall Raffle benefits Goldstein Fellowship Program

October 5, 2014 | Posted in Uncategorized | By

50/50 Cash Raffle! – UPDATE TOTAL OVER $1,000 AS OF 10/15

Nourish International will be hosting a 50/50 Raffle this fall to raise funds for our Goldstein Fellowship Program. This fundraiser provides the opportunity for one lucky supporter to go home with half of the net proceeds! The other half of the net proceeds will go directly back to supporting Nourish International’s Goldstein Fellowship Program. This is a chance for you to win big for a good cause!

 About the Goldstein Fellowship Program

The Fellowship Program provides qualified and passionate young professionals, with a focus on a meaningful professional development, an opportunity to work in the non-profit sector and mentor over 200 Nourish students in their leadership development. Since it’s founding, 9 individuals have graduated from the program and gone on to work in social entrepreneurship and take full time positions with our National Office.

Last years fellows mentored over 800 nourish students on 45 campuses throughout the school year on social enterprise, international development and leadership skills. These chapters, with support from their Goldstein Fellow, were able to raise over $160,000 in profit to implement 28 sustainable development projects in 11 countries for over 50,000 people living on less than $1.25 a day.

Winner Announced on December 11, 2014 at our Winter Jam

  • Nourish Winter Jam
  • December 11, 2014
  • 7-10 pm
  • Deep South Bar in Raleigh, NC.
  • Live Music
  • Bar Specials


Tickets for the Fall Jam are sold separately at $5 each and will be sold at the door as well as online here. If you purchase a ticket to the fall jam you will recieve a complimentary raffle ticket as well. 

Following the October 26th event, the lucky winner will be mailed a check representing 50% of the net amount. You do not have to be present to win.

Should you have questions, please reach out to Kelly Phoenix at [email protected] 

Exploring the Jungle

September 26, 2014 | Posted in 2014, Cornell, Ecuador, Summer Projects, UPenn | By

Sleeping for four days in a hammock underneath a large wooden structure, open and exposed to all of the Amazon’s elements beckons for a post. Three of the nourishers (including myself), worked with members in a community on the outskirts of the rainforest to build a greenhouse in order to grow vegetables. Due to the infamous amount of rain the region receives, vegetables are nearly impossible to grow without some sort of roof to grow under, and of course, protection is necessary to deter the large array of pests.

The community was roughly two hours from the city, Puyo, where we were staying. Thus, to be more efficient, we decided to stay in the community with a host family for a week as we helped build the greenhouse.

Photo Jul 22, 7 35 29 AM


During our stay, our host family and partner organization’s coordinator cooked for us different regional foods on an open fire: Photo Jul 22, 7 34 28 AM

We painted a mural in our free time:

Photo Aug 04, 11 57 10 AM

We played in waterfalls, picked bananas and cocoa beans, hiked in the rainforest, and had our faces painted with tribal art:

Photo Jul 22, 12 38 21 PMPhoto Jul 22, 12 43 14 PM

But more importantly, we made an impact within a community composed of the most welcoming and liveliest people, all while creating a bond between us three that continue to this day.

Photo Aug 04, 12 34 37 PM Photo Aug 04, 11 58 07 AM


Welcome Fall 2014 Interns

September 17, 2014 | Posted in 2014, Nourish Office, Office Updates | By

We are excited to welcome seven interns to our team this fall!

Anna Graves, Events and Outreach

IMG_4031Anna is a senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill studying geography and religious studies. During her time as an undergraduate student, she has been a mentor for three international students and involved with organizations such as United Students Against Sweatshops. As a returning intern from summer 2014, Anna is excited to continue working with Nourish as the Events and Outreach Intern and to participate in their movement, which relies on students and education to create sustainable growth and social development both locally and internationally. In her free time she enjoys exploring, the outdoors, drawing, painting, attending concerts and spending time with family and friends.




Jessika Virtanen, Corporate and Foundational Outreach

550559_496980056983777_1692545746_nJessika is a junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill majoring in economics and global studies. She is interested in the concept of social entrepreneurship and ultimately intends to utilize her economics degree to help impoverished communities implement long-term changes. After interning with Nourish over the summer, she is excited to further explore nonprofit work this fall as the Corporate and Foundational Outreach Intern. She also works for the North Carolina Scholastic Media Association, an organization which provides resources for high school and college media organizations across the state, is on the Advocacy committee for UNC’s Relay for Life chapter, and has spent time tutoring the children of Burmese immigrants in local elementary schools. Her interests include running, reading and traveling.



Anna Long, Public Relations

302587_10150379429314318_462098958_nAnna is a senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill studying public relations and history. After becoming involved with both journalism and nonprofit work in college, she knew she wanted to channel her writing to make a positive impact in the community. She is passionate about sustainability and hopes to see Nourish’s model of social entrepreneurship and community-based solutions gain national attention. As a returning intern from summer 2014, she is excited to continue and further expand upon her work as the Public Relations Intern, which will allow her the opportunity to help raise awareness for the organization. In her free time, she enjoys reading, going to concerts and spending time at the lake.




Tammy Chen, Chapter Support

TammyphotoTammy is a senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill majoring in Public Policy and minoring in Hispanic Studies. She is interested in pursuing a professional path that embraces the intersection of social policy and population health. This past summer, Tammy interned at an NGO in Chile to contribute to the foundation’s efforts to actualize global poverty alleviation/South-South cooperation in the Latin American and Caribbean region. Aside from her internship, she discovered her newfound love for snowboarding while in the Andes mountains. She also enjoys discovering new music, exercising, learning foreign language, and hearing the stories/perspectives of people from all over the world. This fall, Tammy will work with Nourish as the Chapter Support Intern.


Nae Won, Chapter Founders Team Lead

10494690_662410607190176_5779469349781380883_nA native of Charlotte, N.C., Nae is a junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill double majoring in public policy (health concentration) and global studies-global health with a minor in medical anthropology. Nae has served in various executive positions for student organizations, which exposed her to the knowledge of international relations, team management, and organization communication. She recently served as the American Executive Committee Chair for a student-led month long international conference — the Korea-America Student Conference — and is currently serving as a Special Events Coordinator for the UNC-CH Alpha Kappa Delta Phi, International Sorority Inc. Nae developed a passion for public health during her senior year of high school, when she witnessed inequality of healthcare during her mission trip to Costa Rica. Since then, she has dreamed of one day founding her own nonprofit to provide equal access to sustainable healthcare and human rights internationally. Other than taking classes, leading organizations, planning events, and working a part-time job as a manager in the student union, she loves to travel, listen to and play music, walk, and enjoy life to the fullest with the people she loves.

Carson Ledford, Business Consultant

image-2Carson is a junior global health studies major and public policy minor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Originally from Charlotte, N.C., he has been actively involved with the Ronald McDonald House Charity since 2010 and now enjoys exploring ways to give back in the Triangle. He is excited to work with Nourish International as the Business Consultant Intern to help continue the financial growth and success of the organization. One of his passions is international development, an area he hopes to pursue more through Nourish as well as post-undergrad. In his spare time, he likes to travel, spend time with his family, and restaurant hop.



Sam Salvesen, Lead Generation

603710_10151060353099599_990596489_nSam is a a senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill double majoring in economics and Latin American Studies. He developed an interest in nonprofit work while studying abroad in Brazil for eight months, where he witnessed first-hand the profound inequalities that pervade the country. Sam’s passion for nonprofits was solidified after he spent a month in Guatemala City conducting a socioeconomic survey in the largest informal settlement in Central America (more than 60,000 residents living in a ravine). He is eager to work with Nourish to seek out healthy partnerships with community leaders all over the world with the goal of one day returning to Brazil to start his own social enterprise. In his spare time, he enjoys skateboarding, playing soccer and taking spontaneous trips to the beach.

Ohio State Triple Salto Follow-up

September 16, 2014 | Posted in 2014, Ecuador, OSU, Summer Projects | By

It feels like a dream that just a few weeks ago we were standing over the equator staring at the completed structure of a greenhouse we had built with our own hands. For some of our group’s members this was the first time we had ever constructed something from start to finish. From the initial step of clearing and flattening the land to adding the plastic to the outside of our greenhouse structure, every step of the process came with its own challenges. It was on our most trying days that I came to understand and admire my teammates in a way that would have been impossible otherwise. Each person brought their own light, positivity, and sense of humor that made every single day fun and inspiring. The positive energy of our group was reflected onto our project and the local community as we were told several times how fun and unique our group of volunteers was.
The first greenhouse we built was at a local primary school. Despite our poor Spanish language skills, the children would crowd around us every day excited to ask questions. My attempts to respond were comical to say the least, and would often send the kids into fits of laughter. We had a blast with the children, but at the end of the day we didn’t know which ones could be going to bed hungry. It was incredible to interact with the people who would directly benefit from our efforts.  The greenhouse we built will be used to provide our new friends with at least one balanced and nutritious organic meal a day.
The second greenhouse was placed at a local farmers market. Here we were given the opportunity to work side by side with the community. This project site was unique in comparison to the first because the people would be using the greenhouse to generate an income for their families. It’s interesting to me that the same project could mean something completely different to different groups of people. At the school, a greenhouse is a means of sustaining life itself through nutrition. At the farmers market, a greenhouse is a means of improving the quality of life. Extra income could mean access to things like medicine and education.
While we hope that our efforts made a lasting impact on the communities in Ecuador, we know that this project and the friends we made have had an impact on us. I am so thankful for this opportunity to learn and grow, and I will never forget the experiences I had in Ecuador. Thank you Triple Salto for being such a gracious host. Thank you to the community members who brought us food every day, even when they had their own families to feed at home. Last but not least, thank you to my OSU project teammates for always lifting my spirits.
Nourish Love <3

In retrospect…

August 28, 2014 | Posted in 2014, Indonesia, Summer Projects, U Idaho | By

Hello virtual world! It has been a while. Upon return from Bali, half of the team launched right into the summer institute and the other half fell back into normal life in our respective home towns.

This week we are all reunited and are jumping back on the Nourish train. Having the group back together has given us a lot of opportunity to look back upon our time in Bali.

We started off the journey pale but bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. We returned home after an amazing stint in Bali a little road-weary but tanner and satisfied. We were able to teach students of varying ages English skills like reading, writing, speaking and listening. With education, the progress is difficult to see to the naked eye but everyone was able to find worth in students correctly utilizing a pronoun or remembering to differentiate between he and she (there is no gender in Indonesian.)

The last week of our stay was all about launching an environmental program. We talked about this a bit in the previous blog post so I won’t bore you with all of the details again but we were able to make a real and visible impact on the coastline by Slukat and seemingly inspire many students to take initiative in their own communities and make a change for a more environmentally-friendly Indonesia.

As well as working with the students, the Slukat alumni were often around the compound and always willing to sit and chat. They also sought help with academia and English. For example, Agus is a talented young man who is looking to study abroad in Japan to further his hopeful law career in Bali. However, money and a solid application were needed for this so there was editing to be done as well as networking for finances. Check out his Gofundme page if y’all are interested in learning more.

I think that every team member had interactions with people this summer: students, staff, alumni, local people or other travelers that really widened their perspective on human nature. We were treated with nothing but kindness and respect by almost every single person we encountered. Sure, I would like to think that we made an impact and bettered the lives of our students; but they definitely made a bigger impact on our lives. And we are incredibly lucky to have been given such an amazing opportunity.

Thank you so very very much to everyone who contributed time or thoughts or money to our journey. We could not have done it without you and we appreciate it so much!


Nourish University of Idaho Chapter

Brick by Brick

August 26, 2014 | Posted in 2014, U Washington, Uganda, Uncategorized | By

As we head into our last week in Uganda, things are starting to wrap up. It’s exciting to see all of the projects that we’ve been working on so close to completion, but it’s sad to think that we only have a few more days to spend with the wonderful people we’ve grown to know over the past month.

The wells are nearly complete, both just waiting for pumps. Thanks to the unpredictability of Ugandan electricity, there are still a few parts that weren’t ready to pick up over the weekend, so we are waiting for them to arrive from Kampala in the next few days. Installing the water pump and purification system is the last step before both Kiseeza and Mazooba have fully functioning wells and clean water!

DSC_1318 (Tarryn and Sarah helping lay bricks and rocks in Mazooba)

One  inspiring moment from the past week was watching the community come together in Mazooba during construction. The well is at the bottom of the hill where trucks cannot reach, so we had to dump all of the bricks and rocks at the top. We spent one full day with community members helping shift the materials to the bottom, working alongside people of all ages carrying what they could manage, whether that was one brick, or eight.

DSC_1249 (Children from Mazooba carrying rocks down the hill)

We also had the chance this week to sit down with Walusimbi Willy, one of the co-founders of Rural Health Care Foundation, to talk with him about all of the different projects the organization does. We realized that we didn’t know about much outside of our projects since we’d been so focused on water. After hearing everything, we were blown away by the range of projects and extensive  involvement they have with the communities surrounding Mubende. RHCF started with a goal of improving the health of communities, initially leading to programs in HIV/AIDS treatment. As the organization grew, they added on projects for orphans, food and nutrition, maternal health, and other small projects. While water is their primary focus now, RHCF still runs projects in all of these other areas when funding is available.

While we have all been working very hard on completing the wells, we did steal a weekend to get away. Nearly all of the RHCF staff went with us to Queen Elizabeth National Park to go on a safari! It was really fun to hang out with the staff outside of work and get to experience something new for all of us. We saw lots of different animals, from water buck to elephants to hippos lounging in the Kazinga Channel. We also got to cross the equator!


IMG_2744 (Us at the equator with Willy, Doctor, Roland, and Pius).



Nourish International Launches New Look!

August 20, 2014 | Posted in 2014, Nourish Office, Office Updates | By

Nourish Community,

We are pleased to roll out our new logo and tagline this month. Nourish International’s new look can be attributed to a partnership with Clean Design, a brand and ad agency based in Raleigh, NC that was recently named the #1 Graphic Design Firm in the Triangle. All of their services were generously donated to support the re-brand.


Our new logo, featured in our August 2014 Newsletter, captures the three elements and synergy of our work to engage students, empower communities, and use business as a tool to impact poverty. In addition, the vibrant colors capture the global reach of our work and innovative spirit of the Nourish Network. Our new tagline, “Impacting Poverty with Ingenuity,” showcases our entrepreneurial spirit and unique model in our field of work.

We are delighted to share our new look with you and hope you will join us in showing our appreciation for Clean Design for their tremendous support in this process.

Kelly's Signature

Kelly Leonhardt Phoenix
Executive Director
Nourish International

P.S. Interested in representing the new Nourish look? Purchase one of our Nourish T-Shirts today! Shirts are just $15. Deadline to order is tomorrow (8/21) at 10PM. Buy one today!