High School Juniors and Seniors Build Foundation for Lifelong Commitment to Community Giving
This week, 35 upperclassmen from 26 different Northwest Ohio schools granted $25,237 to 12 local youth-serving non-profit organizations.
Youth in Philanthropy Encouraging Excellence – or YIPEE, for short – is a program for high school juniors and seniors wanting to learn more about community needs and the elements of thoughtful giving. In partnership with Greater Toledo Community Foundation, the program’s goal is to establish a foundation for a lifelong commitment to leadership, volunteerism, and philanthropy.
Within this unique program, students identify key problems facing youth, solicit and review grant applications from local youth-serving organizations, and raise and allocate funds to deserving area non-profits to address those needs. The decisions regarding how funds will be raised and allocated are completely student-driven.
Jacob Lesick, a senior at Rossford High School and YIPEE’s President, shares, “Working with YIPEE and Leadership Toledo has been some of the greatest pleasures and honors I’ve had thus far in my life. They’ve been able to shape me to be strong leader, and they continue to shape the leaders of today and tomorrow in all of their programs. I’m so happy that I’ve been able to get closely connected with my community and those within it. While I may be going away from the Toledo area for college, I plan on spreading the messages and lessons I learned, and never forgetting where I came from.”
According to Nicole Susdorf, Program Director at Leadership Toledo, “This unique program allows students to identify their group values and what issues they would like to address in the community. Their thoughtful conversations and meaningful interactions with local youth-serving nonprofits allows participants to not only become better connected to their community but also become catalysts for change.”
Organizations receiving funding from YIPEE:
- Compassion Health Toledo
- Diabetes Youth Services
- Engaging Opportunities Foundation
- Family and Child Abuse Prevention Center
- Good Grief of Northwest Ohio
- Mobile Meals of Toledo
- RallyCap Sports
- Sunshine Foundation
- Universal Health Aid Toledo
- University of Toledo Foundation/Reach Out and Read
- Water for Ishmael
YIPEE students chose the following issues to focus on when making their grant funding decisions:
- Combatting racism
- Social justice and acceptance of all people
- Eliminating mental health stigma/access to mental health resources
- Access to educational opportunities
- Abuse prevention and victim support
- Access to basic needs resources and aid
- Human trafficking prevention and awareness
- Equal opportunity for healthcare and disease awareness
- Drug and alcohol abuse prevention, assistance, and awareness
- Violence prevention and support for victims
- Disability awareness
Leadership Toledo exists to cultivate a community of leaders dedicated to serving with authenticity and purpose. Through a broad spectrum of programming for adults and high school students, Leadership Toledo offers individuals the opportunity to become more confident leaders, connect with the community on a deeper level, to grow stronger in self-awareness, and to serve in ways that are meaningful to the participant and their community.