Talented Grad Students Boost SAY’s Social Innovations!

From Nancy Gannon Hornberger, CEO

By establishing creative partnerships with local, world-class universities, SAY San Diego has tapped into the ingenuity and fresh perspectives of talented graduate students. They are exploring new social innovation programming for us that builds on our organization’s strengths and values, with great promise to meet unmet and urgent needs.

Pictured L-R: Andy Brigel, SDSU 2018 MBA Candidate; Julia Sutton & Hailey Vieira, 2018 SDSU MSW Candidates

Starting in October 2017, three second year master’s degree students from San Diego State University (pictured left) joined the SAY San Diego Board of Directors as Board Fellows for the course of two semesters. Sponsored by SDSU’s Social Policy Institute, at the School of Social Work and the Fowler College of Business, the purpose of the fellowship is to introduce MSW and MBA students to board roles in nonprofit governance and leadership, while also engaging them in an innovation project with a board member, staff and the local community. Their innovation project, still underway, addresses the serious unmet need for high quality, affordable infant and early childhood care. The Board Fellows Program is guided by Steve Hornberger, MSW, Director of the Social Policy Institute, SDSU.

USD Master’s in Social Innovation Candidates pictured L-R: Jayne Eckels, Leslie Willis, Emily Cox & Connie O’Brien


Over the Winter Intersession, SAY San Diego benefited tremendously from our engagement with students in the Master’s in Social Innovation Program at University of San Diego. Four students (pictured right) served as social enterprise consultants to help us explore new possibilities for valuable programming within our Child and Youth Development impact area, where SAY serves more than 4,500 children and families every day. They explored the needs and interests of parents and children through a series of interviews, analyzed the market, and reported on possibilities for partnerships and financing, under the guidance of Karen Henken, MBA, Professor of Practice, Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship at USD, Kroc School of Peace Studies.