CONNECTING TEENS TO COMMUNITY

June 13, 2018 - Life’s most persistent and urgent question is “What are you doing for others?” Martin Luther King
This summer, the Tipp City Foundation collaborated with the Tipp City Chamber of Commerce for their inaugural Teen Leadership Academy. The program, available to Bethel and Tipp City High School “rising seniors”, was an immersive week of activities and experiences to develop leadership skills and insight into what makes Tipp City a great place to live.

The week kicked off with leadership and team building exercises at Aileron. Throughout the week students went behind the scenes and met with local government and law enforcement officials and traveled to the courthouse in Troy to witness our judicial system in action. They had tours of the Bethel Township Building/Fire/EMS department, Upper Valley Medical Center, Health Partners, Tipp City Fire/EMS Department, city infrastructure sites as well as several small businesses and three local manufacturing facilities.

Mid-week, students were immersed in a “Philanthropy Day”, which began with area United Way representatives providing insight into volunteer opportunities and services provided by local non-profit organizations. They gained eye-opening knowledge of the needs that exist in our community by participating in a poverty simulation and researching how one would connect to resources available through area non-profit agencies.

The students then learned about the seventy-five year history of the Tipp City Foundation, its donors and the work it is doing to enhance life in our community. After learning about grant writing and the evaluation of grant proposals, they were given “ownership” of $3,000, provided by the Foundation. The students acted as the grant distribution committee and collectively determined the allocation of the funds in the form of grants to area non-profit agencies. This was no small task as the amount of requests from worthy organizations far exceeded the funds that were available. (A dilemma routinely faced by the Foundation’s actual Distribution Committee.) The impact was real as they came away with a deeper understanding of the level of need and the broad spectrum of support the agency programs provide in our community.

Following the grant discussions, the students enjoyed lunch and conversation with the Tipp City Rotary and spent the rest of the day performing a community service project for the Tipp City Parks District.
The week’s activities concluded in City Park’s historic Roundhouse with a formal distribution of grant funds to representatives from the selected non-profits. Friday evening’s graduation celebration dinner at Randall Residence gave the participants the chance to share their highlights of the week, reflections and testimonials with parents, friends and community leaders. Overall, the teens embraced the opportunities they were given and the program mission of connecting teens to community was achieved.

The Youth Philanthropy project was an idea introduced at a Tipp City Foundation strategic planning session. The long-term goal of the program is to give youth the tools to recognize community needs and become engaged citizens who will plug in and give of their time, share their talents and be passionate about philanthropy and volunteerism throughout their lifetimes.

The Tipp City Foundation is a member fund of The Troy Foundation. If you would like information about how to establish an endowment fund or to make a tax-deductible contribution, please contact Heather Bailey at (937) 667-4499.

For more information visit www.tippfoundation.org or Tipp Foundation on Facebook.

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