Indiana State University Newsroom

Students provide fun, educational programming with Venture Crew

October 12, 2011

Students belonging to Indiana State University's Nonprofit Leadership Alliance are entering their second year in coordinating the Friends Venture Crew program for Happiness Bag in Terre Haute. The Venture Crew is a co-ed program of the Boy Scouts of America.

The Friends Venture Crew takes place bimonthly and provides programming for people with intellectual disabilities. These programs promote independent living skills and self-esteem and usually involve both a recreational activity and a sit-down craft or project.

Past themes have included fire, tornado and earthquake safety, communication skills and recycling awareness; activities can be modified to suit the needs and capabilities of individual participants.

The Friends Venture Crew combines the values of four separate organizations: Happiness Bag, Boy Scouts, Special Olympics Indiana and the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance.

"This program model is a one-of-a-kind, innovative partnership that has allowed our nonprofit education program to achieve critical outcomes," said Nathan Schaumleffel, advisor of the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance.

The development and implementation of the programs are fully coordinated and funded by members of the ISU Nonprofit Leadership Student Association.

Programming activities for Happiness Bag is a beneficial experience to have before nonprofit students graduate from ISU, said Clarissa Jones, a sophomore human resource development major, NLA student and advisor of the Friends Venture Crew.

"This is a learning lab," she said, "It's a nice opportunity in a world of grades to learn from your experiences when you fail."

The Nonprofit Leadership Alliance (formerly American Humanics) is a certification program that prepares students to work for organizations in the nonprofit sector. Students tailor experiences in the program to fit their personal career goals.

The next Venture Crew meeting will take place Saturday, Nov. 5 at 1 p.m. To volunteer, or receive more information, contact Clarissa Jones at 812-530-7669 or Additional information about Venturing is available at

Contact: Clarissa Jones, Venture Crew advisor, Nonprofit Leadership Alliance, Indiana State University, 812-530-7669 or

Writer: Mallory Metheny, assistant director of public relations, Nonprofit Leadership Alliance, Indiana State University,