High School Students Become Philanthropists in 2 Days!

By: Bree Simmers

We recently concluded the first session of our new Summer Institute for Youth Leadership, and it was huge success! Eleven students from seven different MetroWest towns came to the Foundation's office on Monday, June 30th and Tuesday, July 1st to learn about the importance of becoming actively involved in their own community, discover a keen awareness of their own potential, and develop the skills necessary to become successful leaders.

The Summer Institute for Youth Leadership, in partnership with the Honey Dew Family Foundation, is designed as an introduction to our year-long Youth in Philanthropy program. The first day focuses on team building activities, leadership skills, and philanthropy education, while students spend the second day researching nonprofits and deciding which organization they should receive a $2,500 gift.

Guest speakers from local nonprofits ReDiscovery and Junior Achievement each participated, teaching the students everything from creating a budget to interview skills, the proper handshake, and other necessary life skills.

The students were given a list of MetroWest nonprofit organizations and separated into five groups. The groups were tasked with researching these nonprofits, evaluating each organization, and selecting the one they felt was most deserving of a donation. Each group presented the nonprofit of their choice to their peers, explaining why that organization should receive this money. After much evaluation and discussion, the students decided to award $2,500 to REACH Beyond Domestic Violence.

"As a group, we came to the conclusion that by supporting REACH Beyond Domestic Violence, we could help bring awareness and visibility to a serious issue that affects 1 in every 4 women," said one participant.

The second session of the Summer Institute for Youth Leadership begins on Tuesday, July 22, 2014. A limited number of spots are currently available. If you know a high school student who would benefit from this great opportunity, please encourage them to download the application and apply. For more information, email Cori Kaufman or call 508.647.2260.

To learn more about the Summer Institute for Youth Leadership, click here.

Click here to see photos from our first session!