Julian participated in our Summer Summit 2017 youth program. He is an incoming sophomore at Walter Payton College Prep in Chicago.
I wasn’t sure how I was going to spend the early part of my summer. My mother later told me about a week-long summer program though Allow Good. What sparked my interest in it was the fact that this program focused on philanthropy. When I applied to the program, I shared my understanding of philanthropy at the time, but I felt an interest in learning more and I’m now glad I was able to. I made many friends, have had many great experiences, and I’ve gained new knowledge that I can use for my future, and to help others.
During the Summer Summit, I found many of the speeches given by the various panelists very interesting and thought-provoking--from their stories to their messages. The many activities we participated in provided more depth into the subject matter and showed us ways in which to apply what we learned. I especially enjoyed the brainstorming activity at Groupon.
Our final activity about making the organization, EducaFun, was one that stood out to me, for it was interesting to see how something you are passionate about can be the key idea for an organization aiding a social issue. Furthermore, it was exciting to see how multiple ideas could have such synergy so as to make one big organization. With the messages and activities the speakers delivered, I broadened my understanding of philanthropy and learned that it can be expressed in many unique ways. These ways can also incorporate what we’re passionate about, which makes it even more meaningful. These panels inspired me to just follow my passions, for it’ll make sense later.
The process of creating the social venture, EducaFun, was very engaging and involved many decisions. It first started as two separate ideas. My partner and I had similar paths we wanted our organizations to go, so it was natural to merge our ideas. For my cause, I was inspired by the thought of exposing children to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), a subject I’m very passionate about. The subjects of math and science really intrigue me. My partner’s desire was to increase enthusiasm and academic results among inner city youth. From there, we incorporated aspects from both sides to create our nonprofit organization with income- generating activities. Presenting our organization at the end of the Summer Summit was an experience in public speaking that helped build my confidence.
The experiences I had at the Summer Summit will shape my future social endeavors, for I now know more about the meaning of philanthropy and the creative ways it can be put towards a common good.
I encourage any young person who is interested in learning about philanthropy, while having a fun and fulfilling summer experience, to participate in a future Summer Summit with Allow Good.