A Cool Way to Live

Elizabeth MooreBy Elizabeth Moore, Teens for Tomorrow Alumna

I'll be honest. Before I began my time with the Community Foundation's Teens for Tomorrow program, I didn't know what a community foundation was. I didn't know the depth of generosity in our community, or how different agencies and people come together to do big things. I was unaware of how the Community Foundation draws together people of different backgrounds to come up with cool, creative ways to solve the most pressing needs we face. Now I know.

Let me back up. Teens for Tomorrow is a youth leadership program that allows students like me to be philanthropists today. Through the program, teens learn about community needs, develop a grant program to support those needs, evaluate applications, make site visits, and award a total of $10,000 to area agencies. By spending my junior and senior years in high school as a member of T4T, I learned how nonprofits operate, and contribute to the role of philanthropy in my community. But that's not the best part—I actually got to play a part in making our home a more prosperous, creative, cool place to live.

I am an example of how CFGRB has been able to not only reach and influence older generations to use their time and energy to build this community, but has engaged future leaders. They give people like me the chance to build relationships with others who see generosity as important... even cool. I met other involved teens, generous donors, and dedicated volunteers. Through T4T, I was even able to work alongside one of our community's nonprofits—Transitions Mental Health
Services—to teach other young people how to advocate for causes we care about (read more about that here).

CFGRB's focus on relationships showed me that true change comes from caring about the people and needs around you, and taking action. Through T4T, I saw generosity in the eyes of people serving our community. Their ideas and passion inspired me. Their motives had an incredible influence on me.

It is my hope that CFGRB will continue to invest in students. I am convinced that these relationships will pay off. The result will be the very thing the Community Foundation does best—inspiring people to do good, right here and right now.

Read more essays from our Report to the Community by clicking here.


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