From its earliest inception as a single service initiative formed in 1981 by Columbia University undergraduates Joe DeGenova and David Joyce, Community Impact has grown into Columbia University’s largest student service organization and a primary interface between the University and the Harlem, Morningside Heights, and Washington Heights communities.
As Community Impact integrated itself into the neighborhood’s social safety-net, students identified and responded to new community needs, expanding the number of services available to clients and working towards transforming the organization into an integrated service network with a strong education emphasis. Community Impact figures foremost in the University’s long standing pledge to support education through service. Operating under the dual status as a non-profit organization and an emissary from the University, Community Impact has forged partnerships with community leaders and agencies committed to realizing neighborhood change.
As the organization blossomed, students and staff invested in infrastructure to enhance volunteer skills, created mechanisms to improve existing programming, and developed relationships to establish a network with community leaders. In recent years, the substantial growth in the number of programs and the number of volunteers at Community Impact has outpaced its growth in staffing and funding, thereby challenging Community Impact’s ability to fully meet the needs of both its clients and its student volunteers. To resolve such challenges and create stronger support channels, Community Impact looks forward to working with the Administration and further developing its relationship with the University.