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A National Road Trip

ashley dThis past year, Youth Philanthropy Connect (YPC) took a road trip adventure in May through October to engage with youth philanthropists. We had a great time and met nearly 500 youth and adult philanthropists from across the country, while journeying thousands of miles. In the spirit of our road trip and YPC, we would like to share with you some of our key learnings through the words of youth philanthropists.

In Houston, Ashley Deutser (pictured left), now a YPC leadership team member and a Junior at Kincaid School wrote, “Being exposed to increasing need in our community through my leadership role on the Greater Houston Community Foundation‘s Youth Philanthropy Connect Conference has opened my eyes and my heart to the plight of others. ….Giving comes in all different shapes, sizes and ways. We cannot wait for others to do what we can do today.

Hannah S In Williamsburg, VA, we heard about The Power of Half from the 2 authors, a father and daughter, Kevin and Hannah Salwen (pictured right). Kevin explained, “Prodded by Hannah, who at fourteen had become increasingly upset about the imbalance of opportunities in the world, we launched an audacious family project. We decided to sell our 6,500-square-foot landmark home, move to a nondescript house that was half as big, and donate half of the sales price to help alleviate poverty….The result was a remarkable family adventure. Around our dinner table, we spent hours discussing the world’s problems and how we might help. We made every decision in our two-year journey collectively, with kids having just as much say as parents.” Hannah said, “When it comes to aligning our actions with our passions and beginning to help affect change, we are just getting started …..Everyone has too much of something, whether it’s time, talent or treasure. Everyone does have their own half, you just have to find it.

From the NYC gathering, we saw and heard insights from youth about their own futures. Gaby Baum (pictured left) who is engaged in a Jewish Teen Philanthropy program at United Jewish Federation of Greater Stamford Youth Philanthropy Board wrote, “ I was interested in meetingM Engle people from different backgrounds and organizations with one common goal – that of giving. Youth philanthropy is growing and with that comes new and different views on the work that must be done. Here, together and united, we brought different ideas to the table, exposing each other to new ideas and opportunities.” Martha Engle (pictured right) from Binghamton University and an alumna of the university-based philanthropy program wrote, “Although I still do not know exactly what my future in philanthropy holds, I now know that I am a part of a larger network of young change-makers, and that my ‘next step’ is to stay connected with these leaders so we can work together to change the future of philanthropy.

The YPC road trip gave me a greater perspective on philanthropy. In Indianapolis and Seattle I was able to see how other regions approach solutions to problems. It was really amazing to see all of the great work that both older and younger children are doing across our nation to make the world a better place for everyone. I really enjoyed meeting other kids engaged in doing philanthropic work and felt inspired to join the leadership team so I could help bring this opportunity to others around the country,” wrote Jonah Gomez (pictured left), a member of the Frieda C. Fox Family Foundation Junior Board from Santa Cruz, CA.Gordon

Our Seattle gathering centered on social justice philanthropy and equity vs. equality. Gordon Phung (pictured right), a youth philanthropist with Youth Funding Youth Ideas and Senior at Galileo Academy of Science and Technology, “For me, having the opportunity to be a part of such a progressive and positive movement assured me that the work I’m doing here in San Francisco can be influential nationwide. After our social justice philanthropy workshop, I felt proud of my work and it has inspired me to continue giving back to my community as I grow up. The energy at our Seattle gathering proved to me that with such passionate youth all around the nation, we really are able to change the world!

lizzie jackIn Massachusetts, 85 youth and adults came together in an event coordinated by Brandeis University’s Sillerman Center, local programs, and YPC.  Lizzie Jack (pictured left) an 8th grader at Rivers School and experienced YPC Leadership team member, said “It was an amazing experience to teach a session at the MA conference. I was able to meet kids of all different ages and backgrounds, but who were all there for the same reason: to better understand philanthropy and how they can make an impact on the community.  I saw how passionate everyone at the conference was about putting others before themselves!

Across the entire road trip, as Mike Tracy (pictured right), a member of the Tracy Family Foundation & YPC Fellow alum wrote, “The future of YPC is very bright. This past year has proven that youth philanthropy is a very important area of growth for the philanthropic sector as a whole. YPC is going to continue to help the next generation of philanthropists grow in their ability to make the future brighter for all of us.” Philanthropy has an exciting future with the next generation including Ashley, Gaby, Martha, Jonah, Gordon, Lizzie, and Mike!

What’s Next?

  • We want young people to join YPC and get to know other youth philanthropists to continue to grow this network! So, how can you get involved?
  • Attend a YPC virtual learning opportunity like our webinars for youth and adults! More information will be coming in our newsletter!
  • Gather your friends or family and use the Teen Philanthropy Café readers to learn on your own about 7 great topics!
  • Watch out for regional gatherings in your area! More details coming in our newsletter and social media.
  • Mark your calendar to attend the YPC International Conference at Disneyland July 7-9, 2016! Submit your own proposal for a session by January 13th!
  • Join us in increasing resources virtually as we partner with Foundation Center on youthgiving.org.  The new online hub for youth philanthropists with data, information, and case studies will be available 24-7.  Mike Tracy called this “a much needed next step to further the development of the field and youth philanthropy programs.”

For more about our 2015 impact, check out our 2015 Impact Report!  We are so excited to continue to impact thousands of youth philanthropists and the adults who support them in 2016.

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