The start of a new school year always prompts reflection. How can we do better for San Diego’s youth? What can current leaders do to harness and support the skills and contributions of our future leaders?
In the world of philanthropy, we need look no further than time, talent and treasure.
On September 9, The San Diego Foundation Center for Civic Engagement Future40 Series hosted an event at San Diego State University to address the future of philanthropy and how Millennials are poised to address the region’s challenges.
The event was an opportunity to move beyond talking about the next generation, and instead talk with the next generation.
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Three Millennial changemakers, all of who run charitable organizations that work to promote civic engagement, provided unique perspectives on what it means to give back.
“Purpose has no age,” Nate Howard eloquently stated. “I’m 24 and I have a vision for change that will spark a movement in San Diego and across the world.”
Nate is one of many Millennials with an idea and a drive toward action. His organization, Movement BE, is making an impact by giving San Diego youth a voice and inspiring future leaders of all backgrounds.
He emphasizes the importance of donors and business leaders giving time to support youth development. Money is just one component of philanthropy. More often, young people need mentors and role models to learn how to achieve success and accomplish their dreams.
“Now is our time to step up and decide what our future looks like,” encouraged Nate. “We just need today’s leaders to give their time and share their knowledge to help drive that change.”
Winnie Xu, cofounder of Giventure, a company developing a mobile app to help Millennials volunteer in their communities, disregarded the misconception that Millennials aren’t engaged. On the contrary, she believes Millennials are eager for the opportunity to make a difference.
According to a recent study, 64 percent of Millennials say it’s a priority for them to make the world a better place.
“The main issue is that the old ways of giving back are just not enough for today’s youth,” countered Winnie. “The future of philanthropy lies in technology and innovation among the younger generation.”
Winnie and her app Giventure are a testament to this future as new methods and tools, built with the talents of Millennials, are changing the way we view civic engagement.
Scholarships provide students the opportunity to realize academic dreams that otherwise would not have been possible. And sometimes that educational support pays dividends for a region.
Macy Olivas is a former scholarship recipient of the Patricia & Christopher Weil Foundation, and now serves as the organization’s Executive Director. Her path reflects the potential of Millennials when provided the resources and tools to succeed.
“Scholarships can leave a significant impact on a student’s life, and I’m living proof,” she emphasized.
Today, thanks to the generosity of the Weil family and the skills Macy developed through her education and professional experiences, she is building a better future for San Diego’s youth.
As Winnie put it, “there is a new morale hunger and social responsibility is becoming engrained in Millennials’ daily routines.”
Leaders can capitalize on this movement by meeting youth within their social networks and incorporating Millennials into the decision making, no matter how big or small, to allow them to be apart of tangible, regional impact.
To wisely move into the future, we must give all three – time, talent and treasure – to tap into the potential of tomorrow’s leaders.