Students Welcome New and Returning Members from Four High Schools for Yearlong Leadership Program
WATERTOWN — The Northern New York Community Foundation recently named its 2022-2023 Youth Philanthropy Council class, welcoming eight new and eight returning students to the leadership program.
The Youth Philanthropy Council is an advisory committee of the Northern New York Community Foundation. Chartered in 2010, the program promotes positive youth development and engages young people in meaningful activities that build their skills while deepening their understanding of community needs and educating them about community philanthropy and its impact on Northern New York. Council members grow to become informed critical thinkers and philanthropic leaders as they engage in lessons that may never be taught in a traditional classroom.
“This is one of the most meaningful programs with lasting value that our donors make possible. We are not only making investments in these young leaders, we are positioning them to be better prepared for and mindful of both responsibility and joy of civic engagement,” said Rande Richardson, Community Foundation executive director. “We know that these experiences are unlike others they are exposed to and it opens their minds and broadens their perspective as it relates to strengthening communities.”
This year’s Council includes 16 representatives from General Brown, Immaculate Heart, and South Jefferson Central Schools, and Watertown High School. Council members are in their sophomore, junior, or senior class. They are:
- Trey Augliano, Watertown High School senior, second-year member
- Zachary Blevins, South Jefferson High School senior, second-year member
- Jack Buckingham, South Jefferson High School senior, second-year member
- Kaylee Fields, General Brown Junior/Senior High School junior, second-year member
- Mia Kelly, Watertown High School sophomore, first-year member
- Zachary Kilburn, Watertown High School senior, second-year member
- Harper Lane, Watertown High School sophomore, first-year member
- McKenna Lee, General Brown Junior/Senior High School junior, first-year member
- Jack Mangan, South Jefferson High School junior, second-year member
- Owen Newton, South Jefferson High School senior, second-year member
- Grady Petersen, Immaculate Heart Central School senior, first-year member
- Ella Smith, Watertown High School sophomore, first-year member
- Olivia Urf, Watertown High School junior, first-year member
- Maya Voss, Watertown High School junior, first-year member
- Adelaide Weir, Watertown High School senior, second-year member
- Olivia Wisner, General Brown Junior/Senior High School junior, first-year member
During its first meeting of the school year this week, students elected members to the Council’s Executive Committee. South Jefferson High School junior Jack Mangan will serve as the 2022-2023 Council Chair; South Jefferson senior Owen Newton will serve as Vice Chair, and Watertown High senior Adelaide Weir was elected to serve as Secretary.
“I’m looking forward to the chance to repay all the Council members and advisors who have supported me so fully, and who have given me so much guidance over the course of the last year, South Jefferson High School Junior Jack Mangan said. “I’m extremely indebted to them all.”
Executive Committee members work alongside program advisors to set meaningful agendas and program goals while facilitating grantmaking efforts that include managing $25,000 in competitive grant funding available to tri-county nonprofits.
“I am absolutely thrilled for another year of service, and I’m already inspired by this year’s Council,” South Jefferson High School senior Owen Newton said.
Each of the three students elected to leadership roles are now in their second year of service on the Council.
“I am honored and enthusiastic to have been chosen as secretary for the Youth Philanthropy Council,” Watertown High School senior Adelaide Weir said. “In my second year with these awesome people, I look forward to continuing the good work that we do for our community.”
Since its inception in 2010, the Youth Philanthropy Council has awarded 122 grants totaling $205,070 in support to nonprofit organizations that serve residents of Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties.
In the past 12 years, 140 students representing seven Northern New York high schools have completed a year or more of service on the Youth Philanthropy Council.
The Youth Philanthropy Council and its grant program is made possible by gifts from donors who make contributions to the Friends of the Foundation Annual Community Betterment Fund and generous support from Watertown Savings Bank, RBC Wealth Management Watertown, and the Renzi Foodservice Charitable Foundation.
A team of staff and volunteer advisors mentor students through the yearlong program. Advisors are: Emily Sprague, senior advisor and Northern New York Community Foundation board member; Kraig Everard, Community Foundation director of stewardship and programs; and Leslie Renzi, volunteer advisor.
About the Northern New York Community Foundation
Since 1929, the Northern New York Community Foundation has invested in improving and enriching the quality of life for all in communities across Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties.
Through partnerships with businesses and organizations, charitable foundations, and generous families and individual donors, the Community Foundation awards grants and scholarships from an endowment and collection of funds that benefit the region. Its commitment to donors helps individuals achieve their charitable objectives now and for generations to come by preserving and honoring legacies of community philanthropy while inspiring others.
The Community Foundation is a resource for local charitable organizations, donors, professional advisors and nonprofit organizations. It also works to bring people together at its permanent home in the Northern New York Philanthropy Center to discuss challenges our communities face and find creative solutions that strengthen the region and make it a great place to live, work, and play.