Session Ten: Emily Kelly

Wow… Main Street Philanthropy is actually over.  Looking back on the past ten weeks, it is so incredible to see how much we have learned and how much of a difference we made in our community.  Never did I think that I, as a high school student, would be donating money to organizations of MY choice and experiencing all that I have within these ten amazing weeks.

It has been such an honor working alongside my fellow MSP’ers- I don’t think any of us could have gotten through the program without each other.  I am so grateful that I chose to be in Main Street Philanthropy.  What an AWESOME program!

Today’s graduation was very nice, and it made me very proud to know that I made a difference.  My public speaking skills have just been improving day by day; I talked on stage without feeling any nerves!  The fact that I have grown so much through this program is just unbelievable.  I feel that I can tackle anything with the skills I have learned and developed- again thank you Yale.

I think I speak for everyone when I say that Barbara truly touched our hearts.  Her story was so moving and her message was so profound that I found myself somewhat in awe of her.  She is such a wonderful person, and I hope that one day I can make a difference like she has.

Overall, today was just another amazing experience in my collection of amazing experiences through Main Street.  It’s been such an indescribable journey, but one that I plan to continue living out in my daily life.  Thank you again and congratulations my fellow MSP grads!!! 🙂

Session 9: Field Trip

The Field Trip was where we went to the organizations that we decided to donate money to and actually handed over the checks to the charities that we chose. I had no idea what to expect or what emotions that would come to me while completing this task. I have donated money to various charities before, but not one time did I ever feel anything close to what I felt this time. Seeing the looks on FOWA’s faces when we gave them the check will stick with me forever. Their smiles were contagious. I couldn’t believe that my group, the Voices for the Voiceless, were able to make such a difference in this charity. FOWA told us that the money we donated would be able to help treat sick animals. These animals without our help, may not have been able to survive. The fact that our group impacted this charity so much and are potentially saving animals makes such a difference in my life.  Just knowing that we were able to help give a voice to the voiceless means the world to me.


This will probably be my last post on the Main Street Philanthropy 2014 spring program, I will make it as memorable as possible. Being completely truthful I had never experience something like this program its unique in aspects of how you enhanced the world. It gives you humbleness in the process of also giving others a hand in their life .I remember what Yale asked us “ What is wealth?” I remember some people answered, having a mass amount of money others love, and some said their family. And to this day after going through the program I can say, in my personal option wealth is when you know you have impacted lives and also when you are just happy and your happiness overcomes the negative parts of life. Some people say life is tough, and I’m not disagreeing but God wouldn’t put us here if it weren’t secretly beautiful. I’ve learn not to limit myself based on age, I overcame those fear and now I am running for fundraiser coordinator for my class of soon to be juniors. This program gave me the skills to say “HEY! I CAN DO THIS”. Of course there is much still to learn, but with experience comes wisdom.

I only knew a few people when the program began but now I feel like I really know them, philanthropy is much more than writing a big check and handing off money. You want to know where your money is going, and the Magnificent part is getting to involve yourself in hands on work which truly makes everything worth it . I am really appreciative I am where I am , If it weren’t for this program I couldn’t say , I help a child from a low income family strive for a better future . I couldn’t say, I helped the Cancer Support Community with their funds. I wouldn’t know what a form 990 was and over all, I couldn’t say I know how it feels like to be a philanthropist.

Yes, we are young; but we are hopeful. We don’t give up, we have to keep going and I am so proud of my group. To be honest I couldn’t have been place in a better one. I am hopeful that I can continue doing this, it bring a smile to my face and the people I’m assisting.

I know what wealth is because I have it , I have immense bliss , because I know that even I , can change what’s around me. Together , the influence is much greater and gradually we can aid the world.

Thank you, Carla



Last Class

Oh My God!!! Going to the places and granting them he checks was so much fun. It was an incredible experience and now I understand the appeal of doing that for a living. All in all, the overall experience of being in this class was life changing. I learned that a little can go a long way. And although how much was raised may not seem like it could help many people, it does. Because even that one person that the money helped,  well their life has changed. I loved going to Amy and giving her check. I think I liked it a little too much. I was proud of myself for choosing a charity that didn’t only interest  me but other groups also used their money to donate to them as well. And Amy was genuine about what she did for a living. You could tell in the way she talked, ( and how we all cried) that she was passionate about what she does and who she helps. And I think in the long run, that is all that really matters. Like even after this is all over, we will all hopefully still be helping the Cancer Community. I also loved the FOWA <3. It was soo fun and the animals were so adorable, AND SASHA GOT ADOPTED.  I think most of us were upset by that the most. Especially Zanib, haha. But it was fun to see where they come from, how they are when they are in their work zone. To be able to help someone in this way, it is life changing. And only now do I realize what my dad has been trying to do overseas for a couple years now. In my home town overseas, education isn’t good, and the schools absolutely suck. So my dad wanted to build a school over there for little kids. And it was really cool because we posted that idea on Facebook and others from where we are from wanted to get in on it as well. But it has been put on hold for some reason. We thought it would be easy but it really is not. It is hard but it would have been worth it. To do this you need dedication and free time that my dad didn’t have. Hopefully we can help build a school someday but not today. It would be awesome to build a school and change someones life for the better. NOW on to graduation… I want to say finally but I liked this class and I learned a lot from this. It has been fun, both hard and easy, and downright frustrating but fun overall. Having to raise money, then picking a charity that speaks to you, then having to decide how the money is split, its hard but it was all worth it to see Amy and her board members take time out of their schedule to truly show us how much our donation meant to them.

The Final Step

On our first meeting with Yale, before the class even began, he asked us if we thought one person could make a difference. At that time, I didnt raise my hand, because I thought about making a huge impact, when in reality, the littlest things make the biggest difference. I never thought I would be able to do something like this, it has honestly changed my outlook on life, and I am definitely contemplating doing this type of work for eternity.

The field trip was one of the best days of my entire life, all of the hard work this class did for the past nine or so weeks, came to life. Our overall goal had finally come true, and we were able to impact so many people. At NJ seeds, they were thrilled to hear our stories, all they wanted to do was listen to what we had to say. Regardless of the money, they wanted to know our story, and hear about everything we accomplished. The Cancer Support Society was the same way, they were blown away by the fact we gave up our time to do this. Being there hit me hard, it made me think of the family members, and friends I lost to cancer, so knowing they reach out to those going through struggles, and comforting those who have lost, or know someone with cancer means so much to me. Being there was extremely emotional, I continuously cried, tears of pure happiness. Everyone there sat there and listened to us, no matter what we had to say. They were blessed that we took the time to give back to our community. I could have sat there forever, and listened to what they had to say, and hear what my classmates had to say. Going to petco, and seeing all of those volunteers there brought such joy to my eyes. Knowing they donate their life, and volunteered time to help these animals. Each of them have worked there for years on end, and don’t plan on stopping. Seeing the impact we left on these charities is the biggest blessing I could ever ask for. As I sit here, my eyes fill with tears, knowing I made a difference in someones life. Knowing my classmates were able to do the same. This was a class we will never forget. The field trip was completely selfless, and means the absolute world to me. I would have traded it for anything.

I am torn apart knowing this class has come to an end, but either way, I know it hasn’t. I am positive that every student in this class will go on to do even better things. This isn’t the end for any of us, it is only the beginning.  This is only the start of a long journey for us. I plan on continuing to raise money for these charities, as well as volunteer my time to make a difference. This was a remarkable experience. When I think back to junior year, MSP will be the first thing that comes to mind. It is such an honor to be able to take part in a class where you learn so much about yourself, your classmates, and how important it is to give back to those who need it. This was the start of a never ending journey for each and everyone of us. I’ll miss these classes more than anything, but I look forward to what the future brings me.

“A journey of a thousand miles starts with one single step”