Tufts Health Plan Foundation Trains Next Generation of Philanthropists

Future Philanthropists Initiative Empowers High School Students to Improve the Lives of Older Adults

WATERTOWN, MA – February 19, 2014 – The Tufts Health Plan Foundation announced today the third year of its youth philanthropy initiative. The 2014 Tufts Health Plan Foundation Future Philanthropists Initiative brings together 14 high school students from four diverse schools in a
12-week program to engage and empower youth to work collectively to serve older adults through philanthropy.

As part of the program, the students will learn what nonprofits do and why they exist, including how to conduct research, read a budget and make a presentation. They will then be tasked with undertaking a full grant process, including proposal reviews and site visits, and will be allotted $20,000 from the Tufts Health Plan Foundation to award as 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 public and denominational schools. Students hail from Cristo Rey High School in Dorchester, Gann Academy in Waltham, Lexington Christian Academy and Watertown High School.

“Each year, it is inspiring to watch a group of young people come together with such passion and curiosity for learning about our older adult population and voicing their opinions about what programs will make a real difference in the lives of older adults in Massachusetts,” said Jim Roosevelt, president of the Tufts Health Plan Foundation and CEO of Tufts Health Plan. “We’re proud to be able to train this new generation of philanthropists and help more young adults understand the challenges and joy facing their elders.”

Developed with Future Philanthropists, a Boston-area nonprofit 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 healthy aging in Massachusetts. Each week, the students will learn a new topic with sessions ranging from personal values and community needs to economic sectors and nonprofit management. They will also hear directly from experts in the field including Charlotte Golar Richie, former Boston Mayoral candidate and former co-chair of Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s transition team; Lisa Krinsky, director of the LGBT Aging Project; and Susan Musinsky, director of the Root Cause Social Innovation Forum.

Last year, students participating in the program selected three Boston-area nonprofits to receive funding, including a $10,000 grant to Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) to supplement transportation for its Foster Grandparents program; an $8,000 grant to Shelter Music Boston for classical music concerts for Boston’s homeless older adults; and a $2,000 grant to Generations Incorporated to provide Zumba Gold classes for older adult volunteers.

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 600 youth to donate nearly $400,000 to community-based organizations. Visit www.futurephilanthropists.org.

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