If you’re looking for more than just a job after college, you’re not alone. According to Jonathan White, director of the Bentley Service Learning Center, more and more students want to “transform their workplaces around social and environmental responsibility.” Enter the Graduation Pledge Alliance, which was designed for students committed to this idea. In fact, what began as a student led-initiative at Humboldt College in Arcata, Calif. now includes schools from across the United States, even spreading to international schools in Taiwan, the Philippines, Canada, and Pakistan.
The Graduation Pledge Alliance has engaged students in work initiatives that are socially and environmentally beneficial. They work for a purpose. The pledge has provided recent grads with opportunities to support local and community businesses, develop environmentally-friendly recycling programs, amend workplace policy, and more. According to the GPA mission statement, GPA “creates effective leaders for change because students are concerned with more than the bottom-line”. They develop a social consciousness for ethical, moral, and sustainable business decisions. GPA members understand that in order for any business to truly be successful it must strive to improve the quality of the workplace.
Since 2007, Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts has housed the Graduation Pledge Alliance as part of its Service Learning Center (BSLC). The BSLC is nationally recognized for encouraging academics through community involvement. Students are able to combine the knowledge and skills they learned in college with core values of citizenship.
Bill Benet, executive director of the pledge, explains: “Since its inception, hundreds of thousands of graduating students have signed the Graduation Pledge and entered their work lives with a commitment to make a change.” By teaming up with the Bentley Service Learning Center, Benet believes that the Graduation Pledge Alliance will continue to develop and transform today’s workforce.
Imagine a world where workers are not out solely for money and recognition, but are truly leading a movement for societal change?! Those apart of the Graduation Pledge Alliance view themselves as global citizens. They advocate for a universal world where greater social and environmental responsibility will lead to “more humanistic business models and practices.” GPA members want to help support the mom-and-pop shop on the corner or encourage their office to use energy efficient lighting and recycled paper goods. They strive for an overall better world that starts at work.
“I pledge to explore and take into account the social and environmental consequences of any job I consider and will try to improve these aspects of any organizations for which I work.”
Will you take the pledge?