Youth in Philanthropy Empowers Local Students
December 6, 2016
Despite the pressure of exams, sports practice, homework, club meetings and college visits, Colin Wagner ’17, never misses a YIP session. On Thursday nights, he can be found flipping through grant proposals, conducting site visits, analyzing budgets and interviewing nonprofits alongside his 42 fellow YIP members.
“It’s worth it, because the decisions we make at YIP don’t just affect me – they affect the entire community.”
Youth in Philanthropy empowers local students to make changes in their community and respond to the issues they feel most passionately about. Since its founding in 2003, YIP has awarded 93 grants to more than 50 organizations, disbursing nearly $145,000 to youth programs throughout the region. Each week, YIP participants tackle and eventually make grants to support issues like homelessness, domestic violence, and sexual assault.
“Honestly, I’d never given much thought to philanthropy before YIP. I didn’t know these issues or organizations existed. YIP gave me a new perspective and showed me that kids from all walks of life can get together to help our schools, our towns, our community.”
In the 2015-2016 session, YIP reviewed proposals dedicated to self-advocacy and mental health, awarding grants to the disAbility Resource Center, Safe Harbor Child Advocacy Center and Mental Health America of Fredericksburg.
Lizzie Mueller ’18 is a new member who was particularly invested in the group’s grant decision this year.
“My older siblings told me how fun YIP was, but I didn’t understand the impact high school students could have until I made my first grant.
Mental Health America’s Teen Suicide Education and Prevention program began after someone I knew committed suicide. Being able to fund this program and help prevent that situation in the future, even if it’s only for one person, is what it means to be a part of YIP.”