Since 2008, I have worked for and volunteered with a variety of philanthropies, nonprofits, and socially-responsible organizations that have opened up my eyes to what it means to be an individual that gives back to communities. These include Inside Books Project, the only nonprofit in the state of Texas allowed to mail educational materials and literature for free to offenders in prison; GivePulse, a tech start-up company dedicated to connecting students, universities, and corporations to volunteer events in their respective areas in order to spread community engagement and volunteerism; State of Texas Health and Human Services, the government department responsible for providing benefits and services to individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities in Texas; and many more.
Because of these experiences, I have made it a point to conduct my own nonprofit-like and philanthropic projects that fit my passions and aid communities that I have either personally been apart of or have worked with along my volunteer path. My goal has always been to ensure that whatever community I help, that I'm doing so with self-sustainability in mind. That is, once these communities have been helped, they are better equipped to help themselves and continue a life without aid, and furthermore to help other communities.
That's the point of the scholarship fund I founded at the University of Texas at Austin from Spring 2016 to Spring 2017. Ranging over three semesters, The AUSTIN JAMES ROBINSON Scholarship funded $1,500 to three different students across The 40 Acres who exemplified volunteerism in the face of adversity. Meant to fund students who were of lower-socioeconomic status but still held the priority to help others, my scholarship made it a little more possible for the awarded students to focus on community engagement opposed to figuring out how to pay for university. I will create another scholarship fund once I am more established in a career and location.
My second opportunity for philanthropy came to me when I realized that I could utilize my English degree for nonprofit purposes. In early 2017, I started my own publishing press offering free writing, editing, formatting, and publishing services to individuals who do not have the required resources or connections to write a book or get their book published. Within a six-month timeframe, AJR PUBLICATIONS published five books for five different individuals. With many more individuals interested in the variety of services - and with a couple of artistic individuals having expressed interest in helping, - my press is constantly growing and changing.
My philanthropic endeavors are very much interconnected with my volunteerism, which you can read about on the next page. I constantly look at how I can improve my current projects while also looking toward the future in how I can create more nonprofits and philanthropies that will further help people while also allowing me to pursue my passions. Therefore, if any piece of information on this page piques your interest in any way, feel free to reach out to me via the contact links on the HELLO page.
Below, you can download a document outlining my nonprofit-like publishing press, and another document providing my university scholarship.