We asked Oxfam volunteers what motivates them. Here’s what they told us.
What is CHANGE?
CHANGE is Oxfam America’s student leadership program for rising sophomores and juniors. The yearlong program requires that accepted applicants attend a week-long training in the summer. CHANGE Leaders commit to join or form an Oxfam Club and implement an Oxfam campaign on campus during the 2015-16 academic year. Up to 50 students are selected each year from the U.S. and around the world.
The 2015 CHANGE training will take place in Boston the last full week of July. All selected students must commit to attending the entire training. Oxfam will cover the cost of accepted leader’s ticket (flight, bus, or train) to and from Boston, as well as lodging and meals during the week of training in Boston.
CHANGE is entering its 16th year this summer. We have trained over 770 CHANGE Leaders from more than 340 college and university campuses across the US.
How do I apply?
Visit our CHANGE Application page to create an account and start the online student application. Each applicant will be asked to provide the name and contact information for a campus contact. A Campus Contact can be any faculty or staff member on the student’s campus, who is able to provide an online recommendation and some support on campus. All CHANGE Leader applications and campus contact recommendations are due April 1, 2015.
Once the student application has been submitted, the Campus Contact will receive an email asking him or her to fill out an online CHANGE recommendation. Please remember that applications are not considered complete until both the student application and the campus recommendation have been submitted.
How much does it cost to attend CHANGE?
All accepted CHANGE Leaders will be asked to submit a one time, $100 registration fee. This fee helps cover organizing supplies and resources for the training and year on campus. The registration fee is non-refundable and only applies to students who have been accepted and will be participating in CHANGE. The fee will be due in May, after students have been notified about their acceptance into the program. Students are encouraged to search out university funding support to help cover this cost, or to fundraise the $100. Oxfam will cover the cost of accepted CHANGE Leaders ticket (flight, bus, or train) to and from Boston, as well as lodging and meals during the week in Boston.
Why do I need a campus contact? What is the role of a campus contact?
A CHANGE Campus Contact can be any staff or faculty member at your school who knows you well enough to write a recommendation regarding your leadership abilities. In addition, this person will serve as an on campus resource throughout the CHANGE year. Campus Contacts serve as mentors and help make campus connections, provide feedback and support for Oxfam events and activities on campus. Some contacts are very hands on, while others are less involved. Students and their contacts together determine how they will connect on campus.
When will I be notified about acceptance into CHANGE?
Students will be notified about acceptance into the program by May 1, 2015. We are not able to inform students of their acceptance prior to this date.
Is my campus a CHANGE campus?
It is not necessary for a campus or a campus contact to have been involved in CHANGE previously to be considered for the program. Students from new campuses are accepted every year.
What is the time committment for CHANGE Leaders?
While one aspect of the commitment involves attending the entire training in July, CHANGE Leaders commit to work with Oxfam throughout the following academic year to carry out an Oxfam campaign on campus by joining or forming an Oxfam Club. On average, students spend 2-5 hours/week on their campaigns. Most CHANGE Leaders continue to work with Oxfam throughout their time at college and beyond.
Can international students/non-US citizens apply?
All rising sophomores and juniors attending a US based college or university, are welcome to apply. Students do not need to be US citizens.
Why not freshman, seniors, or grad students?
Over the years, we've found that the CHANGE Initiative is best suited to students who already have established networks and who will be on their college or university campus for multiple years. Campaigns often take a semester or more to establish and gain momentum. Seniors often struggle to find time as graduation, the job search, and other factors come into play in the spring. However, we have selected a few rising seniors in the past, especially if they're going to be on campus for additional semesters. The CHANGE training is offered to undergraduate students only.
What if I'm going to be studying abroad next year?
Students who are going to be on campus the entire academic year will be given priority. Students who will be abroad for the entire academic year are encouraged to apply the following year.
Can multiple students from the same campus apply?
Yes, multiple students can apply, though we only select one student from a campus per year.
I go to a large public/small liberal arts/community college/private university.
All students from any US based college or university, are welcome to apply. We usually have a mix of students from all types and sizes of colleges and universities across all regions of the US.
What is the week of CHANGE like?
The CHANGE Training is an intense, weeklong training. Some days we start at 8am and don’t finish until 9-10 pm. Full participation is expected from all students. Students learn about Oxfam America and our campaigns, get to know other student leaders from around the world, participate in team building and leadership activities, learn organizing skills, and connect with Oxfam staff. This is done through a variety of activities that include interactive simulations, guest panels, presentations, videos, small group breakouts, creative arts, personal reflections, and more.
What kind of things have CHANGE leaders done on campus?
CHANGE Leaders have organized:
- Oxfam America Clubs
- Panels, debates
- Film screenings
- Legislative phone calls and letter writing campaigns
- Tabling events
- DC and in district lobby days
- Hunger and Homelessness weeks
- Social justice conferences
- Oxfam America Hunger Banquets and Dining Hall Fasts
- Class presentations and Oxfam workshops
- Photo petitions
- Concert outreach
- Flash mobs
- Petition gatherings for legislative campaigns
- Corporate campaign actions and stunts
If you have any questions about CHANGE or the application process, please contact us.
- Phone: 1 (800) 77-OXFAM ext. 9415
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are a CHANGE Leader or Alumni, visit the CHANGE Network.
Tools & downloads
- Tools for activists
Students, are you ready to take action? Find tips for starting and running an Oxfam Club at your high school or university, ideas for campus events, and much more.
- Tools for activists
Access free resources for Oxfam Club members, including a (1) sample club constitution, (2) member contact list template, (3) Oxfam logo guidelines, and (4) spotlight clubs from Indiana University Bloomington and University of Texas at Austin.
Volunteers in action
You don’t have to lose your passion or enthusiasm over the closing of Invisible Children. You can redirect it to where it’s needed most.
Oxfam supporters are pretty incredible. Over the last year, people like you took so many actions to help end poverty and hunger.