In February 2011, Allowance for Good consisted of one woman with a dream. There was no funding, no office space, no website, and no semblance of a team. But, the vision of providing teens with opportunities to be global agents for change had potential to grow – and grow it has. Today, Allowance for Good is a network of U.S. teens that work together to improve the educational potential of youth living in poverty worldwide.
Our ripple effect is beginning to spread: over the past twelve months, Allowance for Good has met meaningful milestones and forged lasting partnerships. Roots are beginning to take hold. Our entrepreneurial team has expanded from one to eight dedicated members. We formed a strategic partnership with The Liger Charitable Foundation, seeking to capitalize on their existing network in Cambodia to bring further change in global education. And in June, we will host the first ever Global Philanthropy Summit for teens in the Chicago area. The purpose of the Summit is to engage youth in a discussion about global citizenship and philanthropy and to demonstrate how American youth can be empowered to make education available to children around the world.
Each Young Catalyst, as we call the youth who participate in our programs, has the opportunity to affect global change. One Young Catalyst co-hosted a Concert for Change, bringing over 250 North Shore, Illinois youth together to raise more than $400 for our Nueva Santa Rosa, Guatemala education projects. Another Youth Advisory Board member led peers in pizza fundraisers, gum sales, and awareness campaigns in her community for our newest partner, The Liger Learning Center in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
This is not just my story any longer. It is the story of our Young Catalysts, Board of Directors, Advisory Council, AfG team, and you – our investors who have believed in us along the way. We are pleased with our growing success and the efforts of our Young Catalysts; none of this would be possible without the help of our committed donors. I hope you will consider making an investment in Allowance for Good today to show your ongoing support. With your help, we will continue to cultivate a culture of giving and inspire a ripple of change among American youth.
There are alternatives to responding to global instability with unrest, violence, and global terror. Aligning with this mentality, we at Allowance for Good are providing, as Jeffrey Sachs puts it, “choices that can lead to a much safer world based on a true reverence and respect for human life” no matter our race, religion, country of origin, or social status. This is knit in the fabric of our work today at Allowance for Good. We have created an opportunity for youth to connect with the reality that they can be a part of the solution. Rather than dwelling on images of fear, we focus on hope. Rather than emphasizing the insurmountable tasks of providing proper education, clean water, and medicine for all youth everywhere, we offer the chance to be a part of the solution where we are not bound by barriers and borders but open to balancing the realities of others with our own. It is our collective task to reimagine our world – we need your ongoing support to continue to advance our work developing the rising generation of global philanthropic leaders. I hope you will support AfG today.