“Why not take the opportunity?”

That is what Dhruv Patel asked himself when a family member asked him to get engaged with the Youth Philanthropy Connect’s (YPC) Leadership Team. An 8th grader at Fairmont Private School, Patel has been a member of the Tarsadia Foundation’s Youth Board since 2009.

Screen Shot 2016-05-31 at 2.09.45 PMThe Tarsadia Foundation was established in 1999 by founders, BU and Pushpa Patel to honor the family’s legacy of selfless giving and service. Its mission is to fund nonprofit organizations in the fields of health, education, and economic empowerment. Its Youth Board reviews two grant cycles a year—a summer cycle and a winter cycle. “We get together and decide which organizations we’d like to fund,” Patel explained. “And we obviously don’t give as much as the main board, but we’re still part of the process.”

The program gives Patel the chance to learn about grant making and build relationships with the organization it is funding. He also is given the chance to make trips to India to witness the impact of the foundation’s funding in that country, as well as do some service work. “It was really interesting because we got to see students in India and how they learn,” he said.

Education is what strikes a chord with Patel the most, he said. Not just in India, but all over the world. “I believe that we should have educational opportunities for everyone,” he said. “In America, in some areas we don’t get that great of an education. I believe we should have that great education everywhere.”

As far as the future goes, Patel is only starting high school in the fall—so he has a long way to go before making any career decisions. He said he can definitely see himself going into the nonprofit sector, however. “I’m most likely going to stay a member of the Tarsadia Foundation.”

As one of the newest members of the Leadership Team, Patel finds every meeting useful and rich in advice on how to improve one’s work. “I love to see how we can come together in order to help the world.”

He is hoping to make it to the 2016 International Youth Philanthropy Conference in Anaheim, CA. “I’m really, really excited for that. I’ve already been to one of those, and last time it was really fun,” he said.