Finding Mentors Through A Mobile App

Nipuna Ambanpola, Founder of IVolunteer International

Nipuna Ambanpola is one of those rare people who seem to have figured out how to find more than 24 hours in a day. He is finishing an online Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources, working as a Resident Assistant while pursuing a second Bachelor’s Degree in Economics, leading a nonprofit and using Shapr daily to network with other professionals. According to Nipuna, Shapr is “a global platform for education and inspiration.”

Nipuna uses the app daily to connect with others in his field including Breauna, a nonprofit leader in Atlanta who is helping Nipuna find new projects to add to IVolunteer International, a youth operated nonprofit that Nipuna founded. Shapr has also played a positive role in helping Nipuna find mentors:

“I skyped with a woman working in policy in New York. She was much more senior, but willing to share her advice about the types of careers available for when I graduate. It was amazing that she was willing to share her experience and talk with me.”

While Nipuna is newer to the nonprofit sector, he has already made a major impact with his organization. IVolunteer International connects youth volunteers with international projects that improve the quality of human life, promote economic stability and increase cultural sensitivity. To date, the organization has connected 1,200 volunteers with 20 projects globally. Its latest mission, the #BirthdayDeed initiative, hopes to broaden the organization’s reach by inspiring people around the world to give back on their birthdays.

Celebrate The #BirthdayDeed Project

The idea behind the #BirthdayDeed project is simple. Participants can enter an email, country of residence and birthday to signup for a free annual reminder of ways to give back sent during their birthday week. The email includes specific suggestions such as donating a book to Iridescence — Hope Through Art or writing a thank you note to a mentor. The final step? Participants are encouraged to share a photo on social media captioned #BirthdayDeed and to invite their friends and family to join the movement!

“Think about the positive impact if 7 billion people did something good in their community on their birthdays, even if something small” says Nipuna. “Little steps of kindness can change the world.”

Spreading The Message

As Nipuna launches the #BirthdayDeed project, he says Shapr has been an incredibly motivating and helpful app for finding mentors:

“You don’t have to be a CEO or a founder. You can be someone who is studying and who needs mentorship, who needs capital, or who needs ideas and you can benefit from Shapr.”

Sign up for the #BirthdayDeed project at and learn more about IVolunteer International at

Want to meet mentors and other professionals near you? Check out Shapr at