Teens Engaged in the Power of Giving

On October 13, more than 150 teens from across North Carolina came together for the seventh annual North Carolina Youth Giving Summit.  The teens were competitively selected by community leaders based on their commitment to giving back to the community.

The teens learned strategies to assess the needs of their communities, techniques to effectively facilitate meetings, strategies to work through a consensus based grant decision making process, and methods to further develop resources in their own communities.  The teens are responsible for allocating more than $150,000 to help their communities. 

“Youth become involved in philanthropy because they live it-they understand service, it is part of their DNA.” according to Eric Rowles, President and CEO of Leading to Change. “When something’s happened to them, when they’ve experienced a need and realized what it’s like to be on the receiving end of hardship, they want to help,” said Rowles.

The Summit is an activity of the North Carolina Youth Giving Network.  Leading To Change has coordinated and expanded the Youth Giving Network in North Carolina, from four youth giving sites in 2005 to twenty-three  in 2012, from as far West as Cherokee to as far East as Wilmington.   Since the beginning of the Network, over 1100 North Carolina youth have granted $500,000 in community funds, and along the way, provided over 60,000 hours of service.  

“Youth philanthropy is a strong and growing movement in NC, with the youth grant making program expanding faster here than any other state in the country,” according to Rowles.  

Leading To Change hosted and facilitated the day-long convening of the Youth Giving Summit.  The event was co-sponsored by American Express, Starbucks Foundation, and the Best Buy @ 15 Initiative.

For more information on the North Carolina Youth Giving Network, visit www.ncyouthgiving.org

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