Nanoscience researcher and Ph.D. candidate Argiris Malapanis has made giving back to his community a top priority. That is why from 2008 to 2009 he worked with Columbia University’s Community Impact program to teach high school and adult GED students the fundamentals of math and science.
Since its founding in 1987, Community Impact has mobilized hundreds of faculty, staff, and volunteer students to strengthen the New York City communities of Harlem, Morningside Heights, and Washington Heights. Its dedicated employees and volunteers run 25 distinct programs, helping to meet the educational, emotional, nutritional, and other needs of more than 16,000 community members per year. Major program areas include adult education, health and environmental initiatives, and youth services.
Community Impact has helped to build bridges between Columbia University and those who live nearby, fostering mutual respect and a sense of shared purpose. For those like Argiris Malapanis, participation in the group is not just about improving teaching skills or conveying knowledge; it is also about helping others to empower themselves.