Net Impact President Leads by Example
BY ZAINAB HAQUE
SAN MARCOS- A Texas State business student shares his story about being the leader of Texas State’s Net Impact chapter for two years and how his role has affected him and our university.
Senior accounting and finance major Chris Benavides said that his journey into the organization all started when he approached Dr. Janet Hale, the faculty advisor for Net Impact, to talk about her study abroad courses in Germany.
“I didn’t even go up to her about Net Impact,” Benavides said. “I knew she taught in Germany as part of study abroad and I just went to her office to get more info about that.”
It was then that Hale introduced the sustainability organization that she helps run, which intrigued Benavides so much he decided to join.
Benavides says his most memorable experience in the group was probably going to the Clinton Global Initiative in Miami, Florida, in 2015. This conference was designed to help develop future student leaders who are ethical and care about the environment.
The project that Texas State brought to this conference was the “Up to Us” campaign, a movement started by Benavides to bring awareness to the size of our growing national debt.
“I was able to get about 2,000 signatures across campus for this campaign, which was the most anyone at our chapter had ever done for a petition.” Benavides said.
Miami is where Benavides was able to speak in front of the Net Impact CEO and also Chelsea Clinton and set a national standard for Texas State’s Net Impact.
Both individuals were so impressed by this speech that they placed the chapter second in the entire competition, bypassing almost one hundred other university chapters.
Benavides said speaking in front of these prominent figures actually helped him get over his fear of public speaking.
“After I did that speech in Miami, I was basically unafraid of public speaking from that point forward,” he said. “If I could do a last minute speech in front of a Clinton then everything else was way less intimidating.”
This is just one example of a professional skill Benavides was able to utilize through his two years as being part of the organization. He urges other students to take on obstacles of their own by joining this supportive group.
“Simply put, to me Net Impact is really just about helping students find their own voice within their community,” Benavides said.