Taking the Lead in Fundraising
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Taking the Lead in Fundraising

2012 Next Generation Leaders donate supplies to a school in Tanzania

There are children living in the underserved neighborhoods of our country who face enormous challenges, including finishing high school and going on to become successful in college. In Boston, there are seven remarkable young people who are working hard to accomplish these goals, and then they are going a step further—using their skills to help their peers in another land.

The seven Boston students are Grand Circle Foundation's Next Generation Leaders (NGL) Class of 2012. Launched by Foundation chair Harriet Lewis in 2007, the NGL program helps college-bound seniors from underserved neighborhoods prepare for the future using a more impactful course than simply awarding scholarships. The program consists of a seven-week paid summer internship focusing on skill development, leadership training, and outdoor team-building events, followed by a nine-day excursion to Tanzania.

To Harriet, incorporating travel into the program helps to "level the playing field" among their college peers for students who have faced challenges growing up in underserved Boston neighborhoods. "When the Next Generation Leaders arrive at college and others speak of studying abroad or traveling this summer, being able to say, 'I went to Africa,' may change how these students are perceived by others," she says.

As part of their preparation for their Africa adventure in July, this year's NGL class held a fundraiser for Northern Tanzania's Tloma Primary School, which they plan to visit. The Tloma school serves more than 650 students, ages five to 14, with an annual budget of $622—less than $1 per student for the entire year.

The NGL team decided they would not arrive at the school empty handed, so they organized a two-pronged fundraiser. Between June 26 and June 29, they held a collection drive for school supplies and recreational toys, and on June 28, they led a bake sale to raise funds for the community service they plan to provide during their visit: namely, painting and renovating school classrooms.

Their goal was to fill nine duffle bags with donations. Through posters, emails, and canvassing their colleagues at Grand Circle Corporation headquarters in Boston and organizations throughout the city, they surpassed their own expectations. Not only did they fill nine duffle bags with jump ropes, chalk, bubbles, school supplies, pencils, crayons, flash cards, books, footballs, and baseballs, they also raised $1,685.80 toward their renovation project. Plus, Seacoast United, a New Hampshire soccer club, donated an additional 50 soccer balls and 44 pairs of cleats to the cause.

Grand Circle Foundation salutes this team of NGLs for their drive and initiative, which enabled them to learn planning, organization, marketing, and other valuable skills in the service of others. We are confident that these skills will serve them well as they go on to pursue what will surely be successful futures.

Featured in our July 2012 E-Newsletter. Read the full issue here.