National High School Microfinance Initiative

We want to host the first national high school microfinance summit led by students for students.

By David Lu, Chris Zimmerman, Isabel Leeds, Stephen Brand, Kevin Wei, Justin Lambroza, Madeleine Goldberg, Alex Chao, Sara Wetzler, Alex Kamins and Daniel Koch

$900 out of $750 pledged

from 12 supporters in 22 days

120% funded
12 supporters

The National High School Microfinance Initiative is fundraising to host our inaugural student-run summit. During this event, high school students from throughout the United States will discuss microfinance with their peers, compete in a microfinance case competition, and learn more about microfinance through interactive activities. Students will also have the opportunity to hear from experts in the field.

The conference will be held on Sunday, October 4th at the Explorer's Club in New York City. We expect over 100 people to attend the event, including students representing 8 high school microfinance organizations, parents, and members of the New York microfinance community. Free ticketing and more information about scheduling are available on our Eventbrite page.

Our inspiration

Our organization aims to bring together like-minded high school students interested in microfinance. Microfinance is a system of providing small loans or micro-loans to people in developing communities. This process has been demonstrated to be a powerful instrument in alleviating poverty and empowering women. The World Bank estimates that microfinance organizations (MFI's) have reached approximately 130 million clients over the past 15 years due to their rapid growth.

The National High School Microfinance Initiative aims to form a coalition of student microfinance leaders committed to alleviating both domestic and foreign hardship through microfinance. As the next generation of leaders, high schoolers have the opportunity to focus the efforts of the global community towards fighting poverty.

This will be the first student-driven conference directly focused on bringing high school students together to discuss both the theory and practice of microfinance.

What we've done so far

As organizers, we have already established detailed plans including the date, time, and location of our event, in addition to scheduling specific activities including keynote speeches from Dr. Shawn Humphrey, founder of the Month of Microfinance, Two Dollar Challenge, and La Ceiba Microfinance and Professor Jonathan Morduch of New York University, two renowned microfinance experts. We have confirmed the venue of our conference - the Explorer’s Club in New York City. Several student organizations have already committed to attending, including clubs from the St. John’s School in Houston, Greenhill School in Dallas, Riverdale Country School in the Bronx, Trinity School in New York City, and the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Connecticut.

Who we're impacting

We believe that every person who attends the conference will be impacted in a meaningful way. Our aim is to further develop individual knowledge of microfinance and provide a forum for student microfinance leaders to share ideas for raising awareness and educating their peers in their school communities.

Who we are

We are Student Board members of the National High School Microfinance Initiative (NSHMI), a think tank for high school students interested in microfinance. Founded in 2014 by students from St. John's School, the Trinity School, Riverdale Country School, and the Hotchkiss School, NHSMI has expanded to include over 200 students from 10 clubs in New York, Connecticut, Texas, Florida, California, Colorado, and Hawaii. The NHSMI has an Advisory Board, composed of microfinance experts and college students involved in microfinance, which provides support and guidance to the Student Board. In the past year, members of NHSMI have directed two microfinance documentaries, helped three schools start microfinance clubs, partnered with the Month of Microfinance to promote microfinance discussions in April, shared ideas through the NHSMI blog, and asked Nobel-winner Muhammad Yunus about youth involvement in microfinance. We hope this summit will further catalyze the discussion of microfinance among high school students. Thank you for your support!

Meet the Team

David Lu
Chris Zimmerman
Isabel Leeds
Stephen Brand
Kevin Wei
Justin Lambroza
Madeleine Goldberg
Alex Chao
Sara Wetzler
Alex Kamins
Daniel Koch

Fundraising Goals

This allows us to cover the expenses for essential technology and food costs.
This enables us to run a microfinance contest in which the winning team would be awarded $250 to enhance microfinance activities within their school community.