Thanks to everyone who attended the Awards Ceremony at the Mayerson Hall on Hebrew Union College’s campus in Clifton. Over 80 students, teachers, parents, agency representatives, funders and friends were there to share in the excitement of the check presentations.
Students from each of the pilot schools presented $1250 checks to the non-profit agencies they selected as their recipients. Each student team spoke about the implementation of the program in their school, what they learned as a result of the experience, and why they chose their agency. Agency representatives then told us a little bit about their agency, their interactions with the students, and how the money would be put to use.
All of the agency representatives shared their excitement; not only for receiving the monetary gift, but also for being part of this program experience. Steve Suskin, the Director of Development for Children, Inc., shared that in his over 20 years of non-profit and grant making work, he had never been questioned as intently about his agency as he had been by the student team at Notre Dame Academy. Stephanie Crellin, Coordinator of Volunteer Services for the Ronald McDonald House was very impressed by the volumes of research that the students at Hughes Center had done in preparation for deciding who should receive their grant. Other representatives shared similar stories and really enjoyed working with the students.
The evening concluded with an appeal for students to take what they have learned this year with them, to become wise and educated investors of their time, talent and treasure. They were also encouraged to thank their teachers for choosing to be a part of this program, and to seek out other opportunities to give back to their communities, schools and other deserving organizations. Everyone was encouraged to help us find future financial supporters for this program, forward-thinking individuals and organizations that would be excited to see their money pass through the hands of students before making its way to effective non-profit agencies.
Food was catered by Power Inspires Progress, a local non-profit organization dedicated to helping women learn job-readiness skills.