The Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation is piloting an annual initiative for Chicago Booth students interested in working to create social impact in communities near the University of Chicago campus in Hyde Park.

The Rustandy Challenge is a community-based initiative in which Booth students will work alongside community leaders to research, design, and execute a project to bring an opportunity from idea to action.

During this inaugural year, students will work with leaders from the South Shore Chamber of Commerce to revitalize The Artisan Collective, a group of small business entrepreneurs. A group of students drive planning for the project, including second-year Full-Time MBA student Mabel Shiu, who views the Rustandy Challenge as an opportunity for students to meaningfully engage and partner with the community as a student attending an institution on the South Side of Chicago.

“We hope this initiative will be a meaningful experience to a diverse array of students; whether you are interested in getting involved beyond one-off volunteer opportunities, want to develop coalition-building and leadership skills, or are looking to engage with issues surrounding racial economic inequality and community development,” Shiu said.

Through hands-on experience and professional development opportunities, the Rustandy Challenge will allow students to:

♦ Research, design, and execute a project in collaboration with and support of South Shore community partners.

♦ Connect with classmates, coaches, subject-matter experts, and Booth’s alumni network.

♦ Grow as leaders through workshops centered on civic engagement and reflection.

♦ Take part in a holistic, year-long program unlike any other currently offered at Booth.


Booth students can apply now through November 2. Participating students will research and vet potential projects through December, and project details will be announced in January 2021, with students presenting their completion and sustainability plans in June 2021.

Those interested in participating can:

♦ View the recording from the information session.

♦ Apply here to receive further details

Questions? Contact Rose O’Brien at