Leaders come in all age groups, and some of the youngest ones in Toledo are learning how they can help meet community needs. The students are members of YIPEE (Youth in Philanthropy Encouraging Excellence) and graduates of the Youth Leadership Toledo program, part of Leadership Toledo. YIPEE is designed to give high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to develop leadership skills. The students identify key problems facing youth (i.e. homelessness, teen pregnancy, malnutrition), then solicit and review grant applications from groups wanting to provide solutions. The students raise funds through fundraisers and direct solicitations, before deciding how the money is be to allocated. Associate Executive Director Cory Dippold explains, “Ours is a unique program. While other programs like this around the country provide the money to the students, our members raise their own money, then present the grant checks to the agencies. The students are in charge of the entire process and they learn they can be leaders now. We hope to bring out the leadership skills we see in them, even if they aren’t so sure about their own abilities.”
The group is funded by the Toledo Community Foundation and facilitated by the staff of Leadership Toledo. Mr. Dippold invites inquires at 419 241-7371 or at leadershiptoledo.org.