Another batch of inspired philanthropists released!

In a moving celebration and ceremony last week, over 50 new graduates of The Main Street Philanthropy Academy from Clairemont High School’s Academy of Business in San Diego were awarded their certificates, recognizing them for completing the 10-week course in giving with purpose and passion!

The day consisted of several speeches from students, over $4,000 given to charities, incredible words of encouragement, and an abundance of new found hope and confidence in our youth, our future leaders.

John Loomer of the Homeless Veterans Services shared, “it touches my heart to see the outpouring of care and passion in this room…. You kids are a step ahead of so many people in the world, since you now know the value of caring and sharing.”

Several of the students shared their personal stories of why they selected specific causes, how events had impacted their lives, and what it meant to them to be able to support an organization that meant so much to them.

In more than one occasion, tears streamed down faces as we all experienced a moment of what it means to give.   We got a glimpse of the joy one experiences from making an impact in someone else’s life.  We felt the understanding that giving truly does affect the hearts and minds of those who give, perhaps more so than those who receive.

We’re so proud of our new graduates and look forward to watching them continue to make a difference in their communities and in the world!

MSP has really changed me. A few weeks ago, I never thought of contributing to a charity. Now I’m a certified PHILANTHROPIST!!!! I’m a junior in high school and already have a semi-professional title. The feeling of knowing I have accomplished something this big, is just mind blowing to me. I already know more about taxes than most adults. So basically this program is giving me the opportunity to tackle life and quick.   – Khalid


It started with MAD Cards (Make a Difference)!

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I couldn’t even say the word philanthropy or know how to spell it until Ryan came in and told us about it. He gave us Make A Difference cards to see different causes that needed help. He told us to choose our top three cards and I chose Family Services, Animal Care and Environmental Disaster. Choosing the MAD cards was a new experience and taught me that there are a lot of problems in the world. I hope to gain the experience of being the one person to make a difference in others’ lives.- Ronson


Continued over weeks and weeks of having to listen to an MSP Ambassador, Ryan Ponsford….

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What I learned while creating our Purpose, Vision, and Mission Statements was that each one was a link to one another. For instance, when they told us to make a purpose statement it shows why you would dedicate your time to a cause and how it is important to you. Now that you see how you have a purpose for what you want to dedicate your time for, the vision statement is telling people what you wish to see in the future while helping the cause you want. From there, the mission statement is telling people what you will do to help your cause and get you closer to your goal. –     Jacqueline



The 6th week was inspirational. We got to see a video clip about an elder lady who had lots of money saved, which she donated it all to things she felt close to. This taught me that you can still give to people no matter if it’s money or assistance. Whether you are poor or rich you can still change lives. – Alex W


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Awesome leaders from non-profit organizations came in to

speak with us and answer tough questions…




We had to make calls to strangers to see if they were interested in what we were doing. What I found from calling organizations is that some of them seemed ecstatic to meet you and talk to you while others seemed to be having a bad day. –Diana


Students presented their findings, who they selected, and what they learned….

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Taxes: To me this section of MSP has been the most eye opening.  Not only did I love crunching the numbers to change quantitative data to qualitative I also found that at the rate my organization was spending their money they weren’t very responsible and careful.  For me in the future when I do more philanthropy I’m definitely going to ask for the 990 tax document because you can really get a lot of info out of it and without doing it you could just be throwing cash at someone who isn’t really helping anyone but themselves. –Gavin K


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My Experience in discovering my purpose, vision, and mission has been eye opening to say the least. Starting this M.S.P project has made me realize that philanthropy is not just signing a check for some random charity (well, for some “Philanthropists” it is) but there is a lot of research and care that goes into choosing the right organization making sure your dollar goes a long way. – Arthur


We piled into a bus, and drove around San Diego, visiting organizations, handing out checks!

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Finally, in front of local organizations, teachers, and community members, students gave speeches about their experience, organizations received investments in their causes, tears were shed, and everyone in attendance received a healthy dose of hope.


“What this did for me, more than anything, was give me hope.  With my own kids in high school, I see the challenges they face, the daily opportunities to make poor decisions, and all of the negative influences in the world.  This program can and will change that in the lives of these students.  I’m encouraged that there’s hope for our future.”  – Gary S., Community member, business owner



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With all that’s wrong with our world, there is a generation in the making that is compelled to do wonderful things in their communities.  Students are eager to tune out the negative, change their perspective from inward to outward, and make a lasting positive difference in the world.

Please join us in congratulating this next cohort of

philanthropists and future community leaders!



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About Ryan Ponsford

Ryan Ponsford is a Co-Founder of Main Street Philanthropy; the idea for which stemmed from his working with families addressing financial challenges through wealth transfer. He has been involved in wealth management and real estate for nearly two decades; specializing in the evaluation, management, and transfer of illiquid assets. That the kids blow their inheritance is no surprise, the number of family relationships destroyed is tragic, and the cause of much of Ryan's efforts.

Mr. Ponsford possesses a unique ability to recognize the source of problems, provide clarity for solutions, and grasps the impact solutions will have on the peripheral of clients’ lives.

He graduated from Point Loma Nazarene University with a degree in Industrial-Organizational Psychology and extensive coursework in Chemistry. In addition, he holds securities licenses, professional licenses for Life and Health Insurance, California Partnership Long Term Care, is a Real Estate Broker, and holds multiple industry certifications.

Ryan has participated in several industry-specific mastermind groups including the Laureate in Wealth Strategies, InKnowVision, SunBridge Legacy Advisors, Advisors in Philanthropy, and the Southern California Institute.

He is a sought-after speaker for client and industry events, investment conferences, private investment clubs, and family gatherings.

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