A lasting impact

The Winnipeg Foundation

YiP alumnae reveal how the program changed their outlook.

How does Youth in Philanthropy (YiP) impact young people’s lives? We asked three former YiPpers from Balmoral Hall to tell us. Balmoral Hall has had a YiP Committee since the program began in 1999. In some years, more than 40 young women have participated.


“BeCause more opportunities available to children mean more opportunities as they grow into adults.”

 

Lisa Koss

Lisa Koss | Class of 2004

YiP participant: Grades 10 to 12 (2001 to 2004)
Current occupation: Human Resources Practitioner

Q: What originally drew you towards participating in YiP?
A: I grew up in Girl Guides and we were always participating in service projects. YiP seemed like a natural extension of that. Plus, it was something fun I could do with my friends.

Q: What is your best memory of YiP?
A: My favorite memory of YiP is driving around visiting different organizations with my friends and the feelings of independence and autonomy that came with that. How we distributed funds was something we had complete ownership over. There was no teacher telling us which organizations to visit and no parent chauffeuring us from place to place.

Q: How has the experience shaped your worldview?
A: The two biggest takeaways from YiP for me were even a small donation could have a large impact on someone’s life, and how important it is to have empathy for people and their personal situations. These are lessons that I have incorporated into my life and try to model for my son, so they become part of his value system as well.


“BeCause people deserve access to programs that enhance their health and enable them to have a better quality of life.”

 

Madelaine Stefanik

Madelaine Stefanik | Class of 2007

YiP participant: Grades 11 and 12 (2005 to 2007)
Current occupation: Clinician with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority’s Geriatric Mental Health Team

Q: What originally drew you towards participating in YiP?
A: I wanted to learn more about charitable organizations in Winnipeg and take a more active role in addressing the needs of the community. I was intrigued by the idea that a group of students came together to pick an area of focus, research charities, visit the organizations, and see first-hand what issues were affecting people in the community.

Q: What is your best memory of YiP?
A: Meeting with an organization that was completely unknown to our group. The organization was one that had never been approached by YiP. The staff members were so eager to have us visit; they provided compelling information that highlighted their need for increased community support. Our YiP group was larger that year, so we were unable to grant funds to every organization visited. However, our group successfully advocated for this smaller organization to receive the maximum grant allowable.

Q: How has the experience shaped your worldview?
A: Through YiP, I saw the scope of how many lives were positively impacted by various non-profit organizations. My experiences through YiP were instrumental in enhancing my sensitivity towards the needs of others and helped to draw my interest in working in the field of mental health. YiP provided me the first of many opportunities to foster relationships with charities.


“BeCause every person deserves the right to feminine hygiene products.”

 

Katherine Campbell

Katherine Campbell | Class of 2019

YiP participant: Grades 10 to 12 (2016 to 2019)
Current occupation: Summer program staff at West Broadway Youth Outreach; studying political science and business at Western University in the fall

Q: What originally drew you towards participating in YiP?
A: Maya Angelou once said, “At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.” This is where YiP comes in. YiP allows you to take action in order to make that change in someone’s life. It allows you to prioritize compassion in a world that focusses on numbers and academics. The Winnipeg Foundation works to give students the opportunity to get to know their community by giving us the chance to visit charities, meet the incredible people behind the organizations and meet other students who have a common goal of making Winnipeg a better place.

Q: What is your best memory of YiP?
A: My very first site visit was one that will never be forgotten. We visited the House of Peace and got to meet the people who would be affected by our grant. This is when I realized YiP is much more than simply giving money to an organization. It is an outlet to encourage others to be kind. To not only think about school but to think about each other.

Q: How has the experience shaped your worldview?
A: Being in YiP has not only taught me about being a good leader but about being a good person. It is not about asking ‘What you want to be when you grow up?’ but encouraging you to ask the question, ‘Who do you want to be when you grow up?’ YiP also teaches you about gratitude. We often forget how much a small act of kindness can impact someone’s life. YiP teaches you that you must be kind to others as it can be overlooked when important things come along.


This story is featured in the Summer 2019 issue of our Working Together magazine. Download or view the full issue on our Publications page.

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