Cori Shearer became interested in philanthropy through her passion for dance.
She’d been involved with volunteering at a young age, so the transition was natural for her. As a child she worked in animal shelters and helped organize social events for young people. A dedicated dancer who attended a performing arts high school and spent significant time training, Shearer interned at the Fulton Opera House in Lancaster, Pa., where she worked with underprivileged and disabled students to help them find peace through dance.
Although the experience was beneficial for her artistically, Shearer said, it was through her interactions with students that she realized communication and service was how she could best utilize her resources.
“I want to do something in the future that has a larger impact,” Shearer said. “I have something greater to accomplish personally.”
As the president of Temple University Greek Association, the senior strategic communication major gives particular attention to charitable outreach within the Greek community.
“Communications was that one thing that cut through every industry and business,” Shearer said. “You could reach a larger demographic.”
Through her love of communications and business, Shearer sees her career beginning with a community-centric technology startup company. While she looks for jobs during these last months of her undergraduate education, Shearer said she has pooled her resources to launch her own website, Brand New Vous. The Etsy-hosted site combines Shearer’s knowledge of business and outreach efforts to provide résumé and cover letter templates beyond the basics provided on Microsoft Word and similar programs.
She said the website is an opportunity for her to help others develop their professional persona. The recently launched site has sold five templates so far.
In addition to her startup work with Brand New Vous, Shearer is employed by the company in charge of the mobile app Uber, which provides users with car services. Shearer said she was most proud of her work with Uber last Christmas season, when she helped Uber use its car service to send Christmas trees and presents to the underprivileged.
The app also worked with Home Depot to donate a Christmas tree to a family who had never been able to afford the holiday tradition. The cars were also hired out to deliver toys to families within its region.
“We don’t realize the huge impact we’re making with volunteer activities,” Shearer said, noting that she helped collect 300 toys for families in need.
Shearer also spends time merging her love of business and technology with service in the Temple community. The Urban Apps and Maps program takes a group of students with computer knowledge and connects them with local high school students who share an interest in programming and application building.
Shearer works for the organization through her studies with the Fox School of Business. Every Friday for two hours, she works with a high school student to help make their ideas for an application or program become something functional.
“It’s really nice for me to [mentor them] because I didn’t really have that, especially as a female,” Shearer said.
Shearer has also completed service projects in Jamaica, and said she hopes to do more volunteer work abroad in the future. This coming spring break, Shearer will participate in Temple’s Alternative Spring Break, which will help restoration efforts in Oklahoma City following last year’s tornado.
“It’s really important to talk about these events, because they’re not on the news,” Shearer said.
She will be part of one of the first groups to respond since FEMA left the area.
Back on campus and in her second term as TUGA president, Shearer continues her pursuit of service and community involvement through participation in Greek life. As a Delta Phi Epsilon sister, she donates her time to cystic fibrosis, anorexia nervosa and associated disorders through the organization’s yearly philanthropic efforts.
As TUGA president, she continues her work to bring councils together and foster unity among communities. Part of this is to encourage each Greek member to pitch philanthropic or service events to TUGA or their council president.
“We had a sister pitch the idea to participate in Fairy Godmothers Inc, which gives discounted prom dresses to those who couldn’t afford them and otherwise couldn’t go to prom,” Shearer said. “Whatever you’re passionate about, you can bring it to your council or TUGA.”
Shearer said she hopes to continue and increase her philanthropic efforts post-graduation.
Lora Strum can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.