TROY — The Teen Leadership Troy class of 2018 spent their last session giving back to their community.
At the Troy Foundation, the students spent the afternoon presenting $5,000 in grants to local non profits which they hand selected after much deliberation and discussion. The Project Gift gives the students a lesson on how organizations such as the Troy Foundation makes donations throughout the year and how the board decides how their funds are spent in the community.
“It’s really rewarding to them because it comes from young people,” said Troy Foundation Executive Director Melissa Kleptz. Kleptz shared how she enjoyed listening to the students debate each organization and their need before making their difficult decisions to award funds in their community.
Students then met with representatives from the organizations Friday afternoon and heard how the funds would benefit those in need.
“There was definitely some intense debate on a few of them — it was a hard process,” said Mitchell Orozco. Orozco and Gabby Johnson met with a representative with GIVE of the New Path Inc. which helps connect medical equipment to those in need. The students awarded the non-profit with $365.
“It was hard to decide their importance and the impact it would have. Each request was unique,” said Jessie Welker.
Several students said their favorite part of the week was working with the Goodwill Easterseals Riverside MRDD consumers last week.
“I had never been to Riverside before so it was cool to see how they work with people there and the impact the employees have on their day,” said Delaney Fields.
Laura Murray said she is considering a career in the field of occupational therapy and the visit to Riverside confirmed her aspirations.
“After spending time with them, I know it’s want I want to do,” she said.
Preston Gambrell presented Riverside of Miami County communication outreach director Melissa Nichols with a $500 grant for their three-wheel bicycle project.
“We wanted to help with the project because we saw how those bicycles makes it easier for them to get around,” Gambrell shared.
Students also said they appreciated meeting with Mayor Michael Beamish to discuss the civic issues they felt were important to their age group.
The students also participated in the annual “Amazing Race” game, visiting local landmarks using only clues at each station.
Teen Leadership Troy also spent a day learning about local government, the county court system, local media and touring local businesses. The leadership week is organized by the Troy Area Chamber of Commerce.
The following students participated in the 2018 Teen Leadership Troy: Emily Burleson, Katie Castaneda, Grant Doucette, Delaney Fields, Preston Gambrell, Kayleigh Hill, Alexa Holland, Logan Huth, Gabrielle Johnson, Riley Jonson, Ciena Miller, Mackenzie Morgan, Lily Morris, Laura Murray, Zachary Niswonger, Mitchell Orozco, Katie Pence, Nick Pratt, Katie Robinson, Davis Ruzicka, Gavin Ruzicka, Molly Sanders, Holden Scribner, Luke Severt, Mark Summers, Mikayla Vernon, Jessie Welker and Jesse Westmeyer.