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Compassionate Leadership Experience

Compassionate Leadership

Compassionate Leadership 

“Just be useful and be kind. Have a career, find something that you can be useful to help yourself. And when you have that ability, then just be kind and help other people who are less fortunate than you.”
-Jimmy Thai

Thanks to a generous gift from Lily and Jimmy Thai (MBA, ’00) through their Build a School Foundation, our leadership center, CLIMB, now offers a Compassionate Leadership Experience.  The Compassionate Leadership Experience provides nonprofits with limited funds the opportunity to participate in the College of Business Administration’s Senior Experience Program. CLIMB Director, Dr. Raj Pillai, worked with the Thais to create the Compassionate Leadership experience through projects submitted to Senior Experience. The goal is to develop compassionate student leaders who will work on projects that help underserved communities (e.g., solutions for the homeless, financial literacy for high school students, societal hcange through boys and girls clubs, and other opportunities for impact). 

As part of his work with the Build a School Foundation, Inc., Thai wants to continue helping tomorrow’s leaders.

A hallmark of the College of Business Administration for over 25 years, the Senior Experience Program is a requirement for all CSUSM undergraduate business students. Teams of students are matched with projects submitted by a variety of businesses and organizations. Students gain valuable work experience as consultants on rigorous real-world projects while businesses gain concentrated attention from teams of students who provide a fresh, independent perspective. Organizations pay $1,500 to participate in the Senior Experience Program.

First project to be funded by the CLE (Spring 2022)


Eligibility, Selection Criteria & Application Process

Compassionate Leadership Experience projects are one semester in duration and are conducted in the Fall and Spring semesters. A maximum of two Compassionate Leadership Experience projects will be selected to participate, one for each semester.

  • Compassionate Leadership Experience applicants must have current 501 (c)3 tax-exempt status in order to be eligible for funding.
  • Applicants must demonstrate a commitment to the principle of Compassionate Leadership.
  • Projects will provide analytical, comprehensive and implementable solutions to defined challenges facing community-based nonprofit organizations.

Apply Today!

CLE Sponsor Application

To apply, please fill out the application form.

Please briefly address the following in your application:
(In field marked "Any additional comments")

  • How will your project help underserved populations?
  • What types of experience will our students gain in working with your community-based nonprofit organization?
  • How will your project help expand community services?
  • Describe your organization’s need for financial assistance with the $1,500 project fee.

Application Deadline Dates:

  • For Fall semester projects: July 31st
  • For Spring semester projects: November 30th

Nonprofit organizations that are not selected for the Compassionate Leadership Experience will have the option to submit their application to the Senior Experience Program and pay the $1,500 fee (fees due October 31 for Fall semester and March 31 for Spring semester). Organizations not selected may also reapply in following semesters.