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This year I had the great opportunity to organize Kellogg Cares Day, a one-day community service event for Kellogg students, faculty and staff. This was the 10th year the Kellogg community came together to help out the surrounding Evanston and Chicago area, and it proved to be a truly valuable experience.

The planning started this summer and we were able to line up 19 great local organizations to participate in the event. Kellogg volunteers were placed in groups of 10-15 people and then sent to the organizations to do community service work for the day.

Though it was a bit chilly and rainy in the morning, we were so pleased to see more than 300 volunteers come out for the event! We were also excited to have Dean Ziegler kick off the event. In an effort to have impact, it’s often easy to overlook the community you live in, and Dean Ziegler reminded us that local impact is lasting.

One of the goals for this year’s Kellogg Cares Day was to have more diverse representation of volunteers, which was definitely a success. We had all types of students, from 2Ys, 1Ys, MMMs, JDMBAs and PhDs. We even had professors and Kellogg alumni volunteer with their kids!

The different community service activities included working at a local organic farm, removing bush at a forest preserve, fall cleaning at a housing provider for the mentally disabled, a consulting project with Big Brothers Big Sisters, and much more.

This event really brought Kellogg to the front lines in the community. Not only did we demonstrate Kellogg’s dedication to social impact, but also it allowed us to make the local community aware of our commitment.

Willingly volunteering at 8 a.m. is not necessarily everyone’s first choice of activity on a Saturday morning, so seeing so many of my classmates and peers motivated to help out really helped me appreciate them even more.

We’re hoping to keep this momentum and are excited to see Kellogg Cares Day grow in the years to come!

Navi Sandhu is currently a student in Kellogg’s Full-Time One-Year MBA Program, where she is focusing on finance, real estate and social impact. She is an accomplished Indian folk dancer and recently taught and performed her first routine at Kellogg! Prior to Kellogg, she spent five years in JPMorgan Chase and gained experience in capital markets, credit risk and operations. She earned her B.SC in Economics from Fordham University in New York City, where she grew up.