This week’s featured business is the non-profit organization Ambassadors of the Future, founded by Adam Beres, a sophomore majoring in Human Biology and minoring in Healthcare Studies with the mission of raising funds for the international education of intellectually gifted but financially challenged students.
“When I was in high school I was lucky enough to take some study abroad programs over the summer at Oxford University in the UK, which was a really rewarding experience for me.” Says Beres. “I thought it was great to learn from professors of different backgrounds and meet people from so many different countries but I also had to realize I was privileged in a sense that I was able to do this only because my family was able to support me financially.”
The organization is located in Los Angeles and hosts a charity fundraiser every year to raise the bulk of the finance. Beres acts as the President and CEO, working closely with an active board of directors and a gala team.
“I persuaded many heartfelt supporters to stand behind which wasn’t easy since a lot of people think 16 year olds can’t start a charity.” Says Beres. “I started this organization with classmates from high school. While some people moved away, others stayed and we have new students come in every year to volunteer.”
Presently, Ambassador for the Future partners with the Bognar Family Scholarship fund, a well-established organization that gives out scholarships to students from the US and the Carpathian Basin in Europe to gain educational and cultural opportunities in the two regions.
The organization also worked with USC to set up the Ambassador for the Future Scholarship with the Donrsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences. In both cases, the scholarship supports tuition and academic expenses with the Bolgnar Scholarship also covering transportation costs from the two areas.
“USC has also really helped me in my journey by providing a social atmosphere of many young professionals who know what they want to do in life.” Says Beres. “Organizations like the USC Ballroom Latin Dance Team assisted by performing in the organization’s annual charity gala. Everyone always has a good time and it’s a chance to showcase their talent.”
Future Goals: Getting the Brand Name to the audience and and brining in more students. The organization’s next fundraising gala is on November 30th.
What do you look for in hiring: The organization looks for people who are driven, passionate and reliable. Being a small organization, we need people to step up to the plate and do the necessary tasks. However, there are many levels of involvement and we do take on volunteers for events or seasonal fundraising which are minimal commitments.
Best Move: Not stopping even when I had doubts on the organization. When we started, I put in all my savings for legal fees, location, and website building. Because I jumped 100% in rather than hesitating, I think other people were also inspired to jump 100% in and that’s what made us really successful.
Worst Mistake: When I started the foundation in high school, I think I had a little too much optimism in some of my classmates. A lot of people at that age don’t have as much commitment for projects like this. They just want something to put on their resume and applications. Some people, I was disappointed to see were not as committed and didn’t care as much. At the end of the day, some did pull through and we got quality members that stuck with us.