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Recruiters partner with nonprofit to find young leaders

September 03, 2009

Arizona State University recruiters treated Regina Duran like she was the next NCAA star, but it wasn't her jump shot or batting average that made her stand out.

They were drawn to her passion and talents in nonprofit work with New Global Citizens, a Phoenix-based group that supports young leaders as they help solve challenges faced by communities around the world.

Recruiters gave Duran and her father a personalized tour of Arizona State University's Downtown Phoenix campus. They introduced her to standout undergrads who told her about student life, and took her to presentations by students majoring in Nonprofit Leadership and Management. Her decision to enroll came easy.  

"It felt like a natural progression, to go from being a volunteer with New Global Citizens to studying for a career as a nonprofit leader," says Duran, now an ASU sophomore. 

She's among several students who are attending ASU's College of Public Programs after learning about the nonprofit management program through a unique partnership with New Global Citizens, or NGC.   

"The partnership between ASU and NGC demonstrates a new level of collaborative innovation," says NGC Chief Executive Officer Courtney Klein, an ASU alumnus. "We hope it sets a trend for how the social profit sector competes in attracting and retaining top-notch talent."

New Global Citizens educates, equips and mobilizes young people to help communities by partnering with grassroots organizations that are finding local solutions to local problems across the globe. NGC has chapters in 20 states and volunteer teams in more than 80 high schools around the country. The organization supports these young leaders as they work to create sustainable change.

"It was obvious this was going to be a good partnership for us," says Dana Newell, director of academic services at the College. "The NGC staff and current student leaders let us know if they have a student who is interested, and we connect with them. We approach high-performing students utilizing the same sort of high-touch strategy that is used to recruit student athletes."

This can include assisting with the application and enrollment process, visiting students and their families at home, helping them obtain scholarship funds and more, Newell says. Members of the college's Student Ambassadors for Recruitment program, or StAR, often play a large role in building and strengthening connections with prospective students.

"We're talking about expanding our recruitment partnership with NGC to use videoconferencing in order to reach their high school students in other states," Newell says.

Leah Luben, an NGC student who enrolled at the college, was heavily recruited by Ohio State and other universities. She became interested in ASU when she learned through NGC that the university offered the only nonprofit bachelor's degree in the country, Newell says.

"One of our StAR students and I drove to Tucson, took her out to dinner and helped her finish her application to ASU," Newell says. "She stayed connected with both of us via Facebook while serving with AmeriCorps for a year, and just started classes here this semester."

Luben says this personal approach helped her realize that ASU was the right choice for her. 

"Looking back, it seems only natural that one of the few schools pressing forward to meet the growing demand for professionals in the nonprofit sector should appeal to individuals already empowered and challenged within that arena, like those participating in NGC programs," says Luben.

The partnership offers other benefits as well. For example, faculty from the College of Public Programs plan to help NGC develop curriculum to teach volunteers about fundraising and advocacy. The College and NGC are thinking about plans to jointly host the first national conference of all NGC high school leaders across the nation, with ASU providing meeting space and technology.

For information about ASU's College of Public Programs, visit To learn more about New Global Citizens, visit