This spring, Glamour honored Colgate University student and Scarsdale resident as one of the winners of Glamour’s Top 10 College Women Competition. Dunne was honored for the incredible work she’s accomplished through her organization, Lakota Pine Ridge Children's Enrichment Project.
After a volunteer trip exposed Dunne to the extreme poverty that Native Americans face in the South Dakota area, she started the organization, which to-date has distributed more than $100,000 worth of coats, boots, and books to the people living there.
During Glamour’s awards ceremony, Dunne was awarded the $20,000 grand prize for her exemplary work, which she planned to donate to her organization. But first, Dunne wondered if she could take that award money and leverage it to generate additional funding for her organization.
Opportunity landed soon after, when Richard Branson visited Colgate, the liberal arts university in Hamilton, New York, where Dunne majors in Native American Studies. Branson was the keynote speaker for Entrepreneur Weekend, a time for students participating in the university’s Thought Into Action Institute — including Dunne — to showcase their projects.
During a Q&A session with Branson, Dunne introduced herself and asked him how she might use her Glamour prize money to motivate humanitarian celebrities to donate to her cause — she even held up the oversized check she received at the Glamour awards ceremony to prove her achievements. To her amazement, and that of everyone in the room, Branson agreed to match Glamour’s $20,000 award through his nonprofit Virgin Unite, provided she could secure another $20,000 from a certain prominent Colgate alumnus, who wishes to remain anonymous. Both donations are now in hand, which, along with Glamour’s prize, brings Dunne’s recent total to $60,000.
Glamour editor-in-chief Cindi Leive said, “Maggie Dunne is a prime example of the new generation of college students entering the workforce. They know that the job market is unsteady, so instead of waiting around for opportunities to come to them, they create jobs for themselves.”
"Maggie Dunne’s passion for her work is evident and her success is measurable,” said Richard Branson. “She has made a difference in the lives of thousands of Lakota children and deserves a chance to do more. It is my pleasure to support her work. I am gratified to see that Virgin Unite’s funds, which will be used to help a community of First Americans, also have been matched by an American businessman. The struggles of indigenous communities are global concerns.”
Dunne will continue her work with Lakota Pine Ridge Children's Enrichment Project this summer and focus on how to drive her organization forward in order to continue helping the community in a tangible and sustainable way. She has also set up a fundraising page on the social giving site Razoo.com. Her goal is to raise another $20,000 from the community at large, which would bring her grand total to $80,000.
To help Dunne reach her goal, click here to donate: http://www.razoo.com/story/Lakota-Childrens-Enrichment
-Contributed by Glamour Magazine.