2023-2024 Youth Philanthropy Recap

LIFE is a youth philanthropy program of the LaGrange County Community Foundation. LIFE members gain experiences in community service and charitable giving. The students also provide oversight to youth grant funds at the Community Foundation.

During the 2023 – 2024 school year LIFE offered one grant cycle, awarding $17,495 to youth serving organizations and school projects.

The meetings were packed full of grantmaking decisions and planning for LEAP. They broke into event committees to conquer and divide. LEAP is a one-day event for youth, grades 9 -12, from all three public high schools to learn about philanthropy, community service and leadership. The event had two guest speakers: Seth Maust from Five Star Life and Octavia Yoder with the Community Foundation.

The students began their community service projects in December by delivery generosity cards. Students who participated in LEAP helped create these impactful cards of gratitude for local nonprofits, fire departments, police, and for the businesses who financially supported the LEAP event. In February, LIFE visited with residents at the Waters. They connected while playing games and visiting.

Jamelle Godlewski from Lead and Impact shared about seven habits of highly effective people and helped the students create personal mission statements.

Gwen Owsley was a member of LIFE and Westview’s junior class representative. For the past two years, she served as co-recorder. She was instrumental in helping fundraise for the LEAP event. We were deeply saddened by her unexpected passing. Our hearts are with her family, friends, and all those who loved her. We will remember her bright smile, joyful demeanor, and her enthusiastic spirit in all that she did.

LIFE closed the 2023-2024 school year with the May retreat. They completed a final community service project at the Garage Community Center in LaGrange, packing meals for LaGrange County Hope.

As we plan for next school year, we hope to continue encouraging philanthropy in our community and peers, experience community service and charitable giving through grantmaking.