Tag archives: Youth and Philanthropy Initiative

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Youth and Philanthropy Initiative

This morning I was on the judging panel at the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative final at Finchley Catholic High School. What a great event. Six teams of year 12 students gave presentations championing a local charity that mattered to them. We heard impassioned cases made for very important causes. I was so impressed by the talent and creativity we witnessed. There were amazing raps, poems, songs and videos, and very moving testimonials. Picking the winning team was hard. The team here won because of the strength of their commitment to Cancer Link, their very personal and heartfelt story about why the charity matters, and their inspiring video that showed us how the £3000 award would impact directly and positively on people’s lives.

I’ve been a YPI judge for several years. It’s incredibly rewarding. The awards to charities make a huge difference. I admire the scheme too because of its effect on young people who take part. They discover more about their local communities, and the importance of philanthropy. They learn more about themselves. And they gain skills and confidence that will be of lasting benefit to them and others.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Youth and Philanthropy Initiative

I’ve been meaning to blog about the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative for ages. It’s a wonderful citizenship scheme operating through schools that gets young people actively engaged with their local communities and with charities.

Students research social needs in their area, working in small teams. Each team identifies a locally based charity that tackles the issue they care about most. They visit it, then prepare a presentation highlighting why they believe it is worthy of support. The team judged to have made the best presentation at a final event in the school is given a cheque of £3000 to award to their charity. The photo is of this year’s winning team at Nightingale Academy with their citizenship teacher.

I have been a YPI judge for several years, and I love it. Watching the presentations is inspiring. Many teams are brilliantly creative. I have seen moving drama, heard amazing poems and music, admired striking use of ICT, and even of clothing. The commitment the students display for the causes they espouse is fantastic. Some teams in the final I was on the judging panel for last week had visited their chosen charities ten times. I often hear about students continuing their involvement in their charities for months or years after the event.

YPI fosters so many skills and aptitudes. Teachers frequently express astonishment about students’ boost in confidence. Quite often the winning team consists of students who have never before excelled in school. Passion is far more important than academic credentials.

It’s great to play a small part in such a valuable scheme.