Katie Schuster, YIP Junior Board
Nashoba Brooks Youth in Philanthropy, ’17

My family has always been involved in giving back to our community, and YIP represented a way for me to help others.

I was part of the YIP program at the Nashoba Brooks School for three years. During that period, I learned so much about the true needs in my community and how our YIP Team could play a role in filling those needs. The biggest surprise for me was realizing that many of the same needs exist in different communities. People face similar challenges regardless of what city or town they live in.

Spending time visiting the nonprofit organizations in my community was an eye-opening experience. Each organization provided a much needed service to people in need. Learning how to evaluate each organization and prioritize which ones to fund was very challenging. It is one thing to talk about helping disabled people or kids with Autism, it is another thing to visit the organizations that have programs to support these individuals. I was very moved to see the dedicated staff caring for these people. I was overwhelmed with emotion and I knew in that instant that I had to help these adults and children have a better life.

 After visiting all the very worthy recipients, it was hard to prioritize which organization(s) to fund. I felt a great responsibility to make sure that we impact as many people as possible with the grant money. They all had so many needs. It made me wish I had $50,000 to give away.

One of the most important things I learned was how important it is to listen—to my classmates and my teacher as well as those applying for the grants. I learned so much just by listening. I also learned how working as a team is an important life skill, especially if you want to accomplish big goals. 

A little more about Katie:
I live in Sudbury with my parents, sister, three cats, and our new puppy. I attend Noble & Greenough School, an independent private school located in Dedham, MA. Aside from the YIP Junior Board, I am currently involved with many different activities and groups that are important to me. I am on the cross-country team and I am also an avid squash player. I am actively involved in fundraising for SquashBusters, a sports-based youth development program that combines squash with academic support and community services in Boston and Lawrence. This program transforms the lives of its students and provides opportunities for them to go to college. At school, I am active in the Environmental Action Committee and I am also involved with the Campuses Against Cancer, a group that raises awareness about cancer and raises funds for cancer research. I have lost many family members to cancer and I am committed to helping to find a cure for this deadly disease.