Influential College StudentsSome students have to juggle a bit more than just classes and schoolwork. They volunteer or work hard to give back to the community whether it’s a global issue that needs mending or community issues that need to be addressed, these students are influencing others to do the same. These are the top most influential college students today who are pursuing their college degree while changing the world and people’s lives for the better.



1. Angie Epifano

Angie Epifano

A student who survived a sexual assault while attending Amherst College. Angie wrote a column in the Amherst Student – Amherst College’s student newspaper – about how she was poorly treated by the college’s staff and student body after coming forward about the attack. Once the Amherst Administration read the full story they took direct actions to compensate Angie for their faculty’s unresponsive behavior to the situation. Angie still writes today and has now transferred out of Amherst College. She is helping other rape victim survivors address their situation and help find the sexual offenders to ensure they get locked up.

2. Hillary Dworkoski

Hillary Dworkoski

The first to start the “Chick-fil-A removal off campus” petition. Hillary started the movement at her campus in New York University to remove the fast food joint due to its CEO’s notorious comments about gay rights. In starting the petition, Hillary found that Chick-fil-A donates millions to anti-gay enterprises and influences college students on campuses to convert to their beliefs. The petition has received over 17,000 signatures for the removal of the fast food joint from NYU and other colleges that have it. Angie has influenced other students from all over the world who have businesses on campus that are anti-gay to be removed.

3. Surya Karki

Surya Karki

Born in Nepal and a student in the College of the Atlantic, Surya has given back to his country by establishing the Maya Universe Academy – a project that combines schooling with agriculture to help his country maintain a stable society. He also takes on other roles like volunteering for SustainUS and Earth in Brackets, being a farm consultant in Ecuador, and working as a landscape economics researcher. In 2013 he established a coffee farm and an organic fruit for the Maya Universe Academy. He continues to do volunteer work and is researching on how to better third world countries.

4. Daniel Venn

Daniel Venn

Upon starting classes in Gustavus Adolphus College, Daniel has made some impressive contributions. He volunteered to teach English to students in Ecuador for three months and now teaches in the Galapagos Islands. Before heading to the Galapagos Islands, Daniel had volunteered to teach Spanish to second and third graders at La Escuela Internacional San Ignacio in Ecuador. The experience teaching and being around poverty-riddle culture influenced Daniel to give back to those countries that are suffering from poverty and lack of an education system.

5. Courtney Kaplan

Courtney Kaplan

College student of Yale, Courtney has worked hard to improve business conditions in developing countries. She spent time in Honduras educating others about basic business skills and personal finance. Last year she volunteered to work with a social enterprise, Farm Shop, in Kenya to help with quality agricultural improvements for the nation’s farmers. She is now employed at McKinsey while finishing her time at Yale. Courtney is influencing other undergrad students to become educated in health and business improvements for smaller countries.

6. Mackenzie Naert

Mackenzie Naert

Only a sophomore in college, Mackenzie has already been accepted into a medical school from Mount Sinai Humanities and Medicine program. She has spent time promoting the Millennium Development Goals – antipoverty goals created by the United Nations – and worked in Switzerland for an organic farm. Mackenzie attends Yale and promotes improvements to global health issues. She also volunteers for numerous organizations to help in sustaining a better environment worldwide.

7. Josué Hernández

Catalina Rodriguez

Abandoned by his parents while he was a teenager, Josué turned to education as a ticket towards a better life. While attending the first years of his college he realized that there were only a handful of scholarships available for people who were suffering from financial hardships. This pushed Josué to establish his very own scholarship, which he called Power Through Knowledge Scholarship Foundation. It is a foundation that supports students who are committed to acquiring a higher education, but have little to no finance to get started. The foundation started out rough for Josué as it lacked its own funds, but with the help of volunteers and some creativity, he managed to raise $45,000 within three years.

8. Reed Fox and Mike McGrath

Reed Fox and Mike McGrath

Co-founders of Northampton Exercise Club, Reed and Mike have helped homeless people in Massachusetts realize their value. With their creation of Northampton Exercise Club, they are offering physical fitness activities for the homeless to help them find their confidence and sense of self-worth. They connect with homeless community members to plan sports events and to ensure that the homeless people are valued and are still part of the community. Reed and Mike are also starting smaller programs in the club to provide the homeless with essential education on acquiring a job. For example: help in filling out a job application, resume writing, and income budgeting classes.

9. Catalina Rodriguez

Josué Hernández

Losing her 18-month-old son from cerebral palsy, Catalina has worked hard to honor her son. She has been raising funds to give to UCP of Sacramento and Northern California, an organization that empowers people with different developmental disabilities to live their life without limits. Catalina had raised $7,800 and put in 300 hours of volunteer work for UCP. For putting in so much effort, Catalina has been named 2011 Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy by the Association of Fundraising Professionals California Capital Chapter. She continues to give back to UCP of Sacramento and Northern California along with organizations alike.

10. David Boone

David Boone

A college student who has been offered a full scholarship to Harvard, David has overcome being homeless and survived being targeted that lead to gang violence. Although tough obstacles paved David’s path, he continued to bury himself in his studies and extracurricular activities which lead him to a full Gates Millennial Scholarship to Harvard. He is influencing lower-class and financially tight students to keep pursuing for a better future.

11. Shree Bose

Shree Bose

A definite prodigy, Shree has made a great breakthrough in cancer research and has been praised by President Obama himself. At a young age, Shree watched her grandfather suffer with liver cancer. The agony and pain that her grandfather went through gave her the push she needed to help in anyway. She studied the protein AMP kinase and the reaction with the chemotherapy drug Cisplatin. Upon inhibiting the protein, Cisplatin was able to begin destroying cancer cells. As a freshman in Harvard, Shree is studying molecular biology and wants to continue more theoretical research on ridding cancer for good.


photo by: Werwin15