Stephanie Copeland

Human Resource Management

Catalyst for Change

The Internet helped connect Stephanie Copeland ’13 with the international organization 1000 Shillings, which helps women in Uganda. 

“I was the social entrepreneur,” explained Copeland, who was among the first eight U.S. college students selected by the group for a fellowship and spent two months working in the African nation. “I looked at some different programs, and this excited me because it was the first time 1000 Shillings offered fellowships.” 

The nonprofit started in November 2012, and its name comes from the average amount a person lives on daily in Uganda — which equals about 40 U.S. cents. It gives Ugandan women a chance to develop business and leadership skills by creating and selling handmade products such as scarves, bracelets and purses online. 

A human resource management major, Copeland wrote business plans for the women and case studies to be used by future participants. She also taught business basics such as pricing products. “I definitely used what I learned in my business classes,” she said. “The biggest takeaway is it’s hard to get anywhere without support; that’s what we provide these women.”

She would like to eventually work with an organization helping and empowering women in the Peoria area.  

Copeland said the Smith Career Center was instrumental in obtaining the fellowship, even contacting 1000 Shillings to ensure its legitimacy. She also cited the interpersonal and leadership skills she developed at Bradley. “Anyone could have utilized the resources here to make it possible,” she said. “If it’s something you really want to do, you can make it happen.”