News release from Dearborn Community Foundation
(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) - The Dearborn Community Foundation, Inc., (DCF) is doing its part to encourage young people to give and serve in their community by recently establishing the DCF Youth Council.
The DCF staff and a committee of community volunteers began the process of establishing the council more than a year ago. The Foundation sought nominations from community leaders in several fields to reach out to potential Youth Council members. A significant number of high school-age youth (grades 9-12) applied to serve on the council with 15 young people from across Dearborn County being chosen to be council members, said Fred McCarter, DCF Executive Director.
“The youth council is designed to involve youth in a meaningful way in the philanthropic tradition, to encourage young people to give and serve in their community, and to make philanthropy a habit of the heart for future generations of Dearborn County residents,” McCarter said. “It’s also important to note that young people in our community don’t have to serve on the council to get involved in council activities.”
The Youth Council goals are to establish a self-sufficient, youth-ran council guided by the three ideals of giving and serving, leadership development, and community engagement, McCarter said. In partnership with the youth, DCF has already established a DCF Youth Endowment Fund for current and future youth council members to recommend grants to eligible charitable organizations in the community, he said.
“We want youth in Dearborn County to learn the value of philanthropy and how setting aside funds for the needs of future generations through endowment is vital,” said Denise Sedler, DCF Program Director. “We also are working to establish community service projects to give the youth a chance to give back to their community through volunteerism.”
Youth Council member Abbigail Sampson, a junior at Lawrenceburg High School, says she wanted to be a part of the council “because I know that a great group of high school students serving together would make an everlasting impact for our community. I also believe setting aside grant money in endowment will leave money to help with important causes for future generations.”
The DCF Youth Council has a goal to grow the youth endowment fund through fund-raisers and simply seeking donations to the fund, McCarter said. “It’s great to see that these fine young people see the value in raising funds now that can be granted out 20 years down the road to help with community needs,” he said.
Kailin Mitchell, a sophomore at South Dearborn High School, says she loves being involved in the Youth Council because she wants to make a difference in her community. “If you get involved as a young person, you will stay involved,” she said. “The Youth Council is also about getting kids involved in leadership, so they can lead the world for the better.”
For other youth, serving on the council is about setting an example for others. Kristy Martini, a senior at East Central High School, says “it’s great that young people like ourselves are involved in philanthropy and community service because we are setting ourselves out for a great future of charitable giving. It’s also about showing others that youth can really help out and make a difference in our community,” she said.
The Youth Council has already been involved in two service projects, said Sedler, who coordinates the Youth Council. In July, council members assisted We Care Packages, Inc., by packing boxes with food, hygiene items and more to send to military troops stationed overseas. Council members also were raked leaves for Lawrenceburg residents in November during People Working Cooperatively’s Prepare Affair.
The Youth Council is also planning its first fund-raising event – the DCF Youth Council 5K Run/Walk – which takes place Sunday, April 21, on the Lawrenceburg portion of Dearborn Trails. Proceeds from the event will be split 50-50 between the DCF Youth Council Endowment
Fund and food pantries in Dearborn County. Runners and walkers can register for the race by visiting stuartroadracing.com.
Other Youth Council members are: Nia Brightwell, Hanna Busha, Hannah Caldwell, Lauren Deddens, Skye Isaacs, Laura Kuebel, Megan Platt, Shelby Rose, Megan Sampson, Brittany Schwarz, Rickey Simpson, and Kirsten Stenger.