Philanthropy: Shaping the Future

By: Mia
Mia is a participant in Allowance for Good's Fall 2015 Emerging Leaders in Philanthropy class in the Chicago location. She also participated in AfG's 2015 Global Philanthropy Summit this past July that focused on empowering social innovation.

Philanthropy has two roots, philos and anthropos.  In the most literal sense, philanthropy means "love for humanity" but it is so much more.  When you give your effort to someone or something greater than yourself it is incredibly humbling and inspires not only you but those around you.  The act of giving is something that everyone can do, philanthropy is a universal concept.

Mia presenting at AfG's Global Philanthropy Summit.
In the past, I did medical missions and backpack missions in my mother's hometown of Bebe Matua in the Philippines.  This was very transformative in my life because it showed me that giving your time and effort into the world you live in allows you to make a human connection with others and yourself just by helping a cause you believe in. 

Growing up in Chicago and going to school and choir in Humboldt Park gave me a different perspective on the CPS school system than my peers at Walter Payton College Prep.  I remember many of my very intelligent and driven peers from elementary getting denied from high schools due to lack of preparatory resources.  This year, I started a tutoring program at Jenner Academy for the Arts to help the students perform to the best of their ability.  Putting together the program not only enriched my organization skills but also helped me develop opinions on teaching methods that I had not thought of before. Seeing the students at Jenner reminded me of my own childhood, and I wanted to help give those students the opportunities that many of my old friends did not have. 

Mia at AfG's GPS week.
Looking into the future and the present, I can easily see my life being one that has philanthropy at the center.  Philanthropy is looking for the better of the community, rather than the better of the individual. It is giving your resources of aid to others. Being a philanthropist and a catalyst for good means to dedicate yourself to improving the human condition. Helping others also helps ourselves through enriching ourselves in current problems and developing our views on the world, either through the aiding of the community, or the experience of contributing to the greater good. I want to be a catalyst for good because promoting universal welfare is our duty as global ambassadors and citizens.  To participate in the greater good is to improve the quality of life for both our generation and the next.

Philanthropy can't fix the past, but it can shape the future.