Teens with a GIFT of Foresight (TGF) - A Teen's Perspective

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Blog post by Toni Yanek, Development Associate at The Community Foundation

Teen Sierra Ricketts shares her experience...

I’m speaking for myself and probably a majority of the TGF team when I say that coming into this, I had no idea what an endowment was, I had never heard of half of the non-profit organizations that we visited this year, and I had absolutely no idea about all of the people in need within Henry County. It’s not until you experience something like TGF, that you can begin to comprehend the importance of all of this within a community.

I know that endowments are gifts that will always keep giving. I have seen the good that non-profit organizations do for people desperately in need of help. And I'm now aware of the extent of that need, not only for the people these organizations are helping, but also the organizations themselves. Many of which are struggling to stay afloat with the economy the way it is and without much help from the state. But if it weren’t for the Teens with a GIFT of Foresight, we wouldn’t have learned these valuable lessons early on in our lives.

Our learning experience this year has been so unique compared to most other things we as teenagers learn. A lot of times these days, high school students learn a new concept one day, and forget it the day after we are tested on it. But to my defense I will NEVER use trigonometry again. The difference with our experience this year however, is that this is something that will stick with us.

I guarantee that all of those standing behind me, and myself, will retain what we’ve learned thus far, and will continue giving back to our community far into our adult years. We will strive to wrap our arms around our community and to take care of each other. I will take these valuable lessons I have learned in my journey through TGF, and pass them on to my peers, and someday my children.

Looking back on this previous year, I don't think the few thousand dollars we were able to give out in grants could have gone any farther.  It will not only benefit many people in the near future, but it has taught us so much, and therefore has started a little ripple, that will continue to make an impact far into the future.

Sierra Ricketts will present at the GIFT 10-Year Anniversary Celebration on Sunday, April 21st, 2013.

About the program:  Teens with a GIFT of Foresight, or TGF, is a student-based volunteer organization that seeks to positively impact Geneseo and the surrounding communities.  TGF participants distribute annual grants totaling $2,500 or more to local not-for-profit organizations after evaluating grant requests and learning about various agencies' missions. Through the TGF program, students learn teamwork, communication, and leadership skills, as well as become better informed about community issues and needs.  TGF is a nine month program for highschool students - sophomores through seniors - and is a program of GIFT, an affiliate foundation of the Community Foundation.

Melanie JonesStudents, Staff