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I had one of my most meaningful and life changing experiences involving philanthropy when I was a board member of the San Francisco JCTF (during my high school sophomore year). After each exciting monthly meeting, I could truly declare myself a skilled, young philanthropist.
I am the parent of a second-year Board member and I have watched this organization become an increasingly important part of my child's life. Of all of the things he does outside of school, Teen Foundation has been the most meaningful. He truly appreciates the impact he is having and especially enjoys the depth of the discussions he is having with his peers and adults. And he's having a great time. It's all good.
People are often shocked to find out I am Jewish. I am tall and blond so I do not "look" it but I certainly feel it because our culture is to give back. This foundation gve me every opportunity to learn how to raise money, research the needs of the world and carefully manage the funds to make sure they were sent to wonderful non profits. It was everything I could possibly dream of and I met so many new people.
I have been involved with this organization in a variety of facets over the last 6 years. My daughter was a board member for several years, and quite simply put, the experience changed her life. And I, as a member of the Adult Advisory board, am always inspired by what these teens are able to accomplish. They are role models for us all.
I am currently on the North Peninsula Jewish Community Teen Foundation Board for my second year. I have met so many new people and learned countless new things about Jewish values, philanthropy, and the process of running a nonprofit. The experiences I have had on this board will stay with me for the rest of my life. It has brought me together with my Jewish peers and helped me develop my jewish identity. It is one of the most fun and fulfilling things I have ever done.
My daughter served on the teen foundation board last year and this year has the opportunity to serve on the leadership council. The Teen Foundation has enabled her to deepen her sense of philanthropy and directly taught her that a 14 year old teenager can make a difference in the world. The Teen Foundation empowers teens to take responsibility for healing the world. By delving deeply into social, economic, and health care issues they take away a sense of urgency to help others and an appreciation for how fortunate they are to live in an enriched environment. As young adult Jews, they are strengthening their bond to the larger Jewish community and heightening their potential for life long connections.