Today was the launch of our maiden voyage of Main Street Philanthropy with McPhatter Middle School in San Diego. Mission for the day was to get to know the students, give them an overview of the project, teach a bit about philanthropy, and begin identifying personal values and areas of concern the world. Quite a bit to tackle in two hours!.
Here's a quick low-down on what we'll be doing for the next six weeks:
So, the history of philanthropy was a good discussion, but there is little more encouraging than speaking with folks, no matter what their age or background, about their personal values and things in the world they would like to see changed. Getting middle school students to open up in front of peers and a stranger (me) is no easy task, but we eventually made progress. They expressed an interest in ensuring that everyone has access to food and shelter, and that schools are given proper resources and supplies to make education as effective as possible. They discussed the importance of care for animals with no-kill shelters. They would like to provide support to families that are facing terminal illness in a family member.
I'm not completely sure everyone understands the full extent of this program, but it's week one, and we have much ground to cover! I can say that I'm thrilled to be working with these students; we have a great group - bright students that have all the potential needed to run with this thing. They are also extremely fortunate to have Mr. K as their teacher. His passion for helping them truly learn, not just memorizing facts and figures, but how to think, learn, gain wisdom and discernment is a tremendous gift. He doesn't throw fish; he teaches them how to fish. His impact, and possibly that of this program may take some time, perhaps decades to be realized, but I do believe it will prove meaningful in the lives of all of those involved - myself included!
Until next week,