Office of Student Life

Social Change

About Us

Student Life Social Change exists to empower and advance surrounding communities through programming for individuals and families facing poverty. While there are various systemic barriers that impact generational poverty, our collaborative efforts specifically address educational disparities within the community and are executed by undergraduate, graduate and professional students in sustained volunteer commitments.

Social Change was launched in 2012 by the late, Dr. Patricia Cunningham II, founder and former Director, with the goal of upholding the university motto “Education for Citizenship” by training Ohio State students to be change agents in the Hilltop, Linden, Franklinton, Weinland Park and Near Eastside neighborhoods.

While we focus on youth development in the context of education advancement and access, we also assist, collaborate with and support various community partners in their holistic neighborhood transformation efforts within the city and state.


Social Change prioritizes and empowers surrounding communities through mentorship, leadership development, access, and neighborhood engagement. Our comprehensive programming collaborates with individuals and families facing generational poverty by mobilizing university resources, both human and fiscal, to advance the well-being of the people and state of Ohio.


To foster healthy and vibrant communities of equity, promise and hope through addressing long-lasting impacts of poverty and social immobility.


  • Collaborative decision-making to inform best practices
  • Creating civic literacy, inquiry and action
  • Honoring diversity by fighting for justice
  • Developing empathy with social and emotional intelligence

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