Student pursues social impact


By Nick Bosshart

DeKalb | Louis Zmich found his niche at NIU with the social entrepreneur group NIU CAUSE, where he could pursue his passion of tackling social injustices.

“I went to one of the Wednesday meetings…and I just fell in love with it,” Zmich said. “[NIU CAUSE] was extremely different to any other meeting I have sat in on.”

NIU CAUSE is an association which enables its members with inspiration, skills, experiences and networks to bring to life social impact, according to the association’s website.

Zmich found this group after he joined NIU, transferring from Harper College and exploring more than three majors throughout his college career. He said the group was a perfect fit for him.

“Obviously every college that I’ve been to has had clubs and organizations, but none have tried to get students so much involved than NIU,” Zmich said.

Zmich said as the vice president of marketing for NIU CAUSE, he wants to tell students they don’t need to change their lives drastically to make a global impact even though they are only one person.

Things people can do who want to make a social impact can be as simple as becoming more mindful of water consumption, Zmich said.

Zmich said the stigma of social entrepreneurs prioritizing profit over social justices is inaccurate because they also prioritize business partnerships with people and the planet. NIU CAUSE’s mission is to embody all three efforts; profit, people and the planet.

“[A member of NIU CAUSE] said ‘you know it sounds like you are really into the social space,’” Zmich said. “And I had no idea what that was. As so she had me acclimated to what a social issue is.”

The Social Impact Summit is the association’s major event held once a year in spring. The summit features guest speakers from around the globe and provides a format for networking and pitching ideas for social change, Zmich said.

Members of the association volunteer with organizations like the Huskie Student Food Pantry and Husky Rescue.

An ideal member for NIU CAUSE is someone who shows passion for creating global social change, Zmich said. Zmich moved up in the association as a member to the vice president of marketing within a year.

NIU CAUSE’s first meeting is 5 p.m. Aug. 31 in Barsema Hall, Room 227 and will be on Wednesdays.

Go to for information on the Social Impact Summit.