Youth Philanthropy program looking for students

Aug. 10, 2015

MORRIS – It wasn’t all that long ago that I was an involved high school student full of enthusiasm to change the world.

During that time, when presented with an offer to participate in an organization, volunteer, or attend a workshop or camp, I jumped at the chance.

I truly wanted nothing more than to be involved and learn as much as I could about the world around me. I know there are local high school students out there with the same attitude, and I am looking for them!

Last December, the Community Foundation of Grundy County started a Youth Philanthropy group with students from Seneca Township High School.

The purpose of the group was to engage area youth in philanthropy, to educate them on the nonprofits in and around Grundy County, and to instill the importance of giving.

In the end, the students were able to grant $5,000 to area nonprofits, making an impact on four very deserving organizations.

Like most projects or programs the goal is to continuously make them bigger and better.

To help get new ideas flowing, our summer intern and I attended a two-day youth philanthropy conference in Indianapolis, Indiana, early this summer.

The conference was a great way for us to network with other youth philanthropy programs in the Midwest, as well as an opportunity to see how other programs are structured.

This year, we would like the Youth Philanthropy group to be comprised of teens from each town in Grundy County.

The group will plan to meet on the third Sunday of each month from 6 to 8 p.m. beginning on Sept. 20 and continuing through May at the Community Foundation office in Morris.

Although the group will focus on similar aspects of philanthropy as last year, we also will be digging deeper into the nonprofit world and grant writing. In addition, we may also visit some area nonprofits and get involved with some service projects.

The Community Foundation’s Youth Philanthropy group is open to high school students who either live in Grundy County or attend one of the following schools: Coal City High School, Gardner-South Wilmington High School, Minooka Community High School, Morris Community High School, or Seneca Township High School.

It is preferred that students be either sophomores or juniors; however, freshmen and seniors who are interested still are able to participate.

I am looking forward to growing this program and believe it has the potential to make a large impact on Grundy-area nonprofits for years to come.

If you have a child, grandchild, neighbor, or other student you know who may be interested, please have them contact the Community Foundation to get more information. Anyone interested in information should feel free to get in touch with me.

  • Devan Gagliardo is the program director of the Community Foundation of Grundy County. She can be contacted by calling 815-941-0852 or by emailing [email protected].

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