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Tenth Decade Project
'92 BA (PSc & Econ) / '18 EMPA
Chairman and Co-Founder
Christopher Meek is the chairman and co-founder of SoldierSocks.com, a non-profit dedicated to serving men and women who are or have recently served in the United States Armed Forces. He earned a dual BA in economics and political science from Maxwell in 1992, and also holds an MBA from Pace University. Originally from Elmira, NY, Meek now lives in Stamford, CT, and he is senior director of global relationship management at S&P Global, in addition to being Chairman and Co-Founder of SoldierSocks.com,
SoldierSocks' mission is to support individuals in the U.S. Armed Forces with the simple, yet essential, things they need to succeed. The organization provides those on the battlefield with things taken for granted by most of us at home, such as socks, baby wipes and basic hygienic items. For those who return home, SoldierSocks helps to find employment, foster continuing education and support those wounded on the field of battle. As Christopher puts it, "SoldierSocks is here to help soldiers take their next steps forward." Since July 2009, the non-profit has shipped more than 50,000 pounds, or 25-tons, of basic essentials to U.S. troops.
Under Christopher's leadership, SoldierSocks has recently launched/announced two new initiatives. The first is the Veterans Education Grant Foundation, which offers veterans scholarships to attend the Maxwell School and the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown. These are designed for veterans wishing to continue public service, but as private citizens. SoldierSocks also has a general scholarship fund for vets to go to trade school or the college of their choice, which will help fill the gap between the Post-9/11 GI Bill and the tuition bill. The organization has also entered in to an agreement with California-based Ekso Bionics to fund ten (10) exoskeletal units to help paralyzed veterans walk again. (Click to see a
FoxNews report on the exoskeleton suits
As he explains, helping others and "paying it forward" is in his blood: "I learned my philanthropic mindset from my mother. She was a deaf-education teacher in the '80's and '90's before they had their own curriculum. On any given day she would bring a student home who was having issues at home (mental/physical abuse) to give them a warm meal and a safe bed. She said 'we'll figure it out tomorrow.' A teacher could never do that now, but I learned to help when you can, not because you have to."
Christopher distinctly remembers the interdisciplinary nature of Maxwell, and how faculty members fostered a spirit of involvement and encouraged students to shape the future. He recalls, "Professors combined history and current affairs to make us think about what we can do to help society moving forward. Douglas Holtz-Eakin and Don Dubrowsky were my favorites in Economics, while Naeem Inayatullah was a stand-out from Political Science."
His advice for current students? "Think outside the box. What started as an idea with me cold-calling a local pharmacy and sneaker store has gone national, received a Presidential award, and is now working with a California-based company on cutting-edge technology to help those that are paralyzed or with spinal cord injury to walk again. This is the stuff dreams are made of."