Tufts Health Plan Foundation Kicks Off Year Two of Youth Philanthropy Program

Future Philanthropists Initiative Brings Together Students from Diverse Racial, Ethnic, Religious and Socio-economic Backgrounds

WATERTOWN, MA – January 16, 2013 – The Tufts Health Plan Foundation announced today the year two kick-off for its youth philanthropy initiative. The 2013 Tufts Health Plan Foundation Future Philanthropists Initiative brings together 17 high school students from five diverse schools in a 12-week program to learn about grant making, community organizations and healthy aging, the Foundation’s focus. The students are tasked with undertaking a full grant process, including proposal reviews and site visits, and will ultimately award $20,000 in grants to organizations focused on improving the lives of older adults.

The Tufts Health Plan Foundation Future Philanthropists Initiative stands out based on the diverse mix of students included in the program. Students were purposefully selected with the importance of multi-cultural cooperation in mind and include Christian, Jewish and Muslim 10th- through 12th-graders from both inner-city and suburban schools. Students hail from the civic group Boston Young Muslims Engaging, Cristo Rey High School in Dorchester, Gann Academy in Waltham, Lexington Christian Academy and Watertown High School.

“Our choice of cross denominational schools with a diverse mix of students was no accident,” said David Abelman, president of the Tufts Health Plan Foundation. “We recognize that our community’s future leaders will need to work and cooperate across racial, ethnic, religious and socio-economic backgrounds. Through our program, we hope to create a positive experience of joint learning, decision-making and enterprise that will strengthen the ability of these future leaders to work with others, from like and different backgrounds, throughout their lives.”

Developed with Future Philanthropists, a Boston-based non-profit which empowers youth to work together to choose the most deserving charities in their communities, the program will introduce the students to the fundamentals of philanthropy and the state of older adults in Massachusetts. Each week, the students will learn a new topic with sessions ranging from personal values and community needs to economic sectors and non-profit management. They will also hear directly from experts in the field including Jim Roosevelt, president and CEO of Tufts Health Plan; Susan Musinsky, director of the Root Cause Social Innovation Forum; and Reverend Liz Walker.

Last year, students participating in the program awarded a $10,000 grant to the Kit Clark Madden Senior Center in Dorchester to provide community services for older adults, and a $10,000 grant to the MGH Revere Center for a program focused on helping older adults living with chronic pain.

About Future Philanthropists
By entrusting youth to give away real money to nonprofit organizations, Future Philanthropists teaches youth about the needs within their own communities, their role as active citizens, and the meaning of “giving back.” Using teamwork, collaboration and leadership skills, students are empowered to help the most deserving charities while simultaneously strengthening their ability to write, review effective budgets, and present to one another. Since 2009, with the support of several foundations, this program has enabled over 400 youth to donate $300,000 to community based organizations. Visit www.futurephilanthropists.org.

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