Vineet Sahni, ARC Innovator at Emma's Torch, New York City
After living and working in New York City for ten years, Vineet didn’t feel as if he’d made any contribution to the local community outside of his work. “After the first few years of corporate life, you typically want to branch out and get involved with your community. I’d participated in the more traditional corporate community service opportunities: one-to-two hour stints collecting gifts for families in need, giving away toys during the holidays, but I was looking for a more sustained commitment.” So he started with a Google search. “I threw in terms like ‘longer nonprofit work’ and ‘innovative nonprofits,’ and I stumbled on the Princeton AlumniCorps ARC Innovators page! It looked like an impactful program, and it wasn’t just a one-time commitment.” Vineet appreciated that ARC Innovators give 5-10 hours per week over the course of a few months. He read through the projects listed on the site and Emma’s Torch in New York City jumped out at him. Emma’s Torch ‘provides top-notch culinary training to refugees and helps them find meaningful careers in the food industry.’ The mission appealed to Vineet: “I’m an immigrant myself, and my grandparents were refugees who fled Pakistan for India. In addition, food is dear to me because my cousin owns a restaurant and I’d help him out occasionally. I knew that volunteering with Emma’s Torch would be a return to my roots.”
Vineet’s earnest enthusiasm convinced the AlumniCorps’ staff that he’d be a good fit for the project. He spoke with Emma’s Torch founder, Kerry Brodie ’12, and they agreed that he could contribute to the organization by being an advocate for their mission in the corporate sector. In addition, Vineet helped them to apply for a corporate grant at BlackRock, where he works. He discovered that one of Emma’s Torch’s board members also works at BlackRock, so Vineet was able to expand his own professional network while volunteering. His efforts have been worthwhile, as Kerry reports: "Vineet has been a fantastic volunteer and we are grateful for his help. Having a fresh set of eyes and so much enthusiasm has been so wonderful for our growing organization."
ARC Innovators: Apply expertise. Renew commitment. Create change.
The ARC Innovators Program provides seasoned professionals with opportunities to apply and expand their skills in a nonprofit setting through pro bono projects with our partner organizations in New York City, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C. ARC Innovators have significant experience and are ready to contribute to organizations that need their particular skill set for an advanced, short-term project. By bringing their abilities and a fresh perspective to bear on persistent challenges faced by our nonprofit partners, ARC Innovators create lasting change while gaining valuable experience in a nonprofit setting.