In thinking about which student stories to pick and share, it occurred to us that the best way to pick from the many wonderful stories would be to highlight where candidates were in their lives (personally, academically and professionally) when we first met them on the recruiting trail, and where the journey of being in the program eventually took them. The path they take as students sometimes goes in a very different direction from what they initially thought they wanted. We are always happy to witness the openness to change and growth in these students. We tell every candidate to use the program to explore and test assumptions about their life plans. But that's only some candidates.
Other candidates come to us with very clear ideas of what they want to do. One case in particular is Jamal, who had already established his own 501(c)(3) and was looking to the program to help him launch his organization. That is precisely what he did.
But in all of the cases, irrespective of the journey the students take during the program, IPSL
measures our effectiveness by looking at three pillars of distinction. These pillars are areas of
demonstrated achievement by students. IPSL hopes that every student will achieve at least one of these pillars of distinction during the program, which can then serve as a point of departure for future employment or further study. Those pillars are: 1) success at fundraising, including grants, 2) publishing an article in a scholarly journal, and 3) being accepted to, and presenting at, a professional conference. We celebrate when a student achieves one of these pillars of distinction, and nearly all do; we are elated when they achieve more than one.