In the Summer of 2020, COVID wrecked my planned internship of working for NBC Sports during the Tokyo Olympics (this past summer this dream-job was fulfilled!), and I was fortunate to find the Yale Alumni Nonprofit Alliance, or YANA, for short. I really didn’t know much about the organization, other than that the job opportunity - making videos - seemed perfect to me. At first, YANA sounded like another one of Yale’s many acronyms (YSAAC, YWAC, CCE, AIA, etc), but I learned that it is so much more.
The Yale Alumni Nonprofit Alliance is a network of Yalies involved in the Nonprofit sector. The group’s mission is to empower a global community of Yale alumni, students, and friends who are committed to generating positive social impact”. YANA accomplishes this by serving as a hub for nonprofit work, highlighting different organizations, as well as financially supporting different nonprofits. YANA also provides funding to students who seek nonprofit work and hosts town hall meetings and speaker events on relevant social and financial topics. The organization has created physical chapters in many of the major American cities, as well as Europe and Africa.
I got to connect with several amazing people and learn about their different career paths. With so many Yalies wanting to go into finance, Consulting, Medicine, or Law, there is a preconception that they aren’t super likely to enter into the Nonprofit sector. YANA proves this to be wrong. With a network of 9,000 members, there is a Bulldog in almost every corner of the world willing to help connect students to different non-profit organizations. Another interpretation of “YANA” is “You Are Not Alone”.
I worked as YANA’s Video Intern, where I made videos about Social Justice, YANA’s work in fighting Racial Inequality, and a “What Is YANA” video, explaining what exactly YANA is. I got to connect with several Yalies who started or helped grow different nonprofit organizations. “Go South”, a program YANA fiscally supports, connects college students interested in meaningful work to organizations building southern communities. I also learned about “Thrive Gulu”, which assists communities in post-conflict northern Uganda to heal from the traumatic effects of war, sexual exploitation, extreme poverty, and the resulting loss of opportunities.
Through my work, I got to know Rachel Littman, YANA’s Executive Director, and Ken Inadmoi, YANA’s Founder and President. They were lovely to work for and encouraging about wanting to enter a career in the Entertainment Industry, another somewhat “unconventional” path for a Yale grad to pursue. I’m very grateful for my summer working for YANA.
Check out YANA’s website for more information.