Social Impact

501c3: Giving Back to the Community

Day 2 Afternoon
Breakout Panel

Michelle Chow

Associate Director of Programs, USC Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab

Michelle Chow (she/hers);Michelle is the associate director of student programs at the USC Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab, a Center of Excellence at the Marshall School of Business that equips individuals with the business skills and resources to develop market-based solutions to the world’s most wicked problems. In her role at the Brittingham Lab, Michelle oversees all cocurricular programming, providing focused, cohort-based support for students pursuing careers in social impact.

Through targeted coaching and career advising, Michelle helps students navigate career opportunities that allow them to combine their skills and purpose. Michelle serves on the advisory board of Global Eye Entrepreneurs, an LA-based nonprofit that champions male and non-binary entrepreneurs of color, and volunteers for Safe Place for Youth, a Venice-based nonprofit that offers safe and supportive services for young people experiencing homelessness. A proud double Trojan, Michelle earned her bachelor’s and master’s from the University of Southern California.

Breakout Panel

Catie Cummings

Catie Cummings

Catie Cummings (she / her) is the co-founder and Director of Operations at Water Drop, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that fights water insecurity, especially for populations experiencing homelessness. Water Drop was founded in July of 2020, and since then, Catie and her all-female board have used social media to mobilize thousands of donors and hundreds of volunteers for their cause. They raised over $400,000 in their first 6 months and have distributed thousands of gallons of clean drinking water, all while collaborating with other nonprofits and local governments to plan and implement long term solutions to water insecurity. 

Catie is a current senior at the University of Southern California, and a proud dog mom to Zeus, her rescued husky. She says that balancing the emotional work of running a nonprofit with other responsibilities, such as school and planning for the future, can be exhausting, but it is this challenge that pushes her to create even more ambitious goals for Water Drop and for herself.  Planning to attend law school in 2021, she hopes to utilize her learned experience in community organizing and advocating for marginalized communities to promote equitable justice for all as a public defender.

Breakout Panel

Lee Raagas

CEO, Skid Row Housing Trust

Lee Raagas (she/her), Chief Executive Officer of Skid Row Housing Trust (@skidroworg), understands that hard work does not guarantee housing or healthcare. From her low-income community roots comes the passion to work on behalf of individuals and families that continue to struggle, and the inspiration for her professional and personal goals.

Lee applies her 20 years of experience in the housing and mortgage industry and financial services sectors to build an operationally sound foundation for the Trust’s future. She continues to push innovative and transferable solutions from other sectors to upgrade policies, procedures, and programs at the Trust, expanding the organization’s framework for long-term sustainability and growth. She constantly asks, “What else can we do for our mission?” and partners with Trust staff to overcome obstacles and promote the success, health, and wellness of residents. 

Breakout Panel

Brittany Sinitch

Founder & Educator, The Unbreakable Organization

Brittany Sinitch (@fivefootoneteacher,she/her) is an educator, speaker, and the founder and CEO of the Unbreakable Organization. On February 14, 2018, Brittany survived a school shooting that devastated the small town of Parkland, Florida. When recalling the traumatic moments of that day, her therapist asked her how she felt while with her students in that moment. Brittany looked at her therapist and said “unbreakable,” without thinking twice. Since then, she has found power through the word unbreakable, and uses this word as a mantra to help in her own healing. 

As a CEO of a non-profit and a prolific creator, she uses social media as a tool to connect with individuals and communities. On her Youtube channel, Brittany has over 250,000 subscribers, where she shares stories of hope and survival to help her audience along their own journey.