Mt Notre Dame High School

Through Magnified Giving, Greater Cincinnati Students Learn Philanthropy

Wyoming High School students learned about philanthropy from Magnified Giving, a Cincinnati nonprofit organization

Students from Wyoming High School presented their grant check of $1500 to their chose charity, Childhood Food Solutions.

It is one of the most unique and broad reaching efforts to inspire lifelong wise and generous philanthropists. In its seventh year, nonprofit Magnified Giving kicked off the 2014-2015 school year by giving money to groups of students from a record 52 regional schools, with the charge of extensively researching, debating, discussing, and ultimately investing it wisely into causes of value to them. It all culminated with those more than 2,500 students collectively granting nearly $100,000 to 70 diverse charities in a series of awards ceremonies.

This is the second year that I have helped Magnified Giving spread the word about its impact. (You will probably be reading about it in a community paper near you soon.)

Four students were also recognized with Roger Grein Spirit of Philanthropy Award, nominated by teachers and selected for exemplifying the meaning of philanthropy as expressed through essays. Honorees included: Julie Gyure from Perry High School, Alex Deters from St. Xavier High School, Becca Faeth from Holy Cross High School and Katie Perry from Roger Bacon High School.

Cincinnati student Katie Perry received the Roger Grein Philanthropy Award from Magnified Giving

Katie Perry and Roger Grein

To truly understand the power of this organization is to read what these honorees had to say about how participating has changed their outlook, changed their life. Below are excerpts from their essays.

“This program has shown me that philanthropy is all about fixing our society’s problem of inequality from its roots, not just with monetary donations, but with time. Volunteering at organizations and taking your own time to get to know them and make personal connections. Using your talents, finding what you personally do well and then applying that to an organization, such as using an eye for fashion at Dress for Success, or culinary skills at a soup kitchen. A quote that my dad always says is ‘If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.’ The meaning of philanthropy is use your time, talent, and treasures to do something you love that the common good can benefit from. Magnified Giving taught me that philanthropy isn’t just a definition written in my notebook, but it is a feeling that you demonstrate through giving back to the community.” – Katie Perry

Cincinnati student Alex Deters receives Roger Grein Philanthropy Award from Magnified Giving

Roger Grein and Alex Deters

“Mr. Grein came to speak to my service class at St. X, and I paid close attention to every word of his life’s story, especially the parts concerning his service and work for the common good. He was describing a particular moment in his life, in which he came to realize his love of service and the call he felt to serve, and realizing it or not, Mr. Grein articulated the exact conversion that was taking place in my heart….Deep within my heart, I began to feel a call to selflessness, a call to help my fellow man, but more than anything, a call to service. This call has changed my life irreversibly. I will never be able to see the world the way I did before, and I have decided I will live out this call to service wherever it may take me in my life, following Mr. Grein’s example.” – Alex Deters

Becca Faeth received the Roger Grein Philanthropy Award from Magnified Giving

Roger Grein and Becca Faeth

“Roger (Grein)’s story touched my heart and I want to do something good for the world just like Roger did! The Magnified Giving program is just my first step! The program gives me the opportunity to go out in the world and lend a helping hand to those who need it. I can give my time, support, and love to people who struggle every day. Magnified giving has raised my confidence in becoming a better person. The program has helped me to see how easy it is just to help someone out whether by money, time, etc. I feel like I am an important part in this world because of this program. It helped me see that I want to help people and have a passion for helping others. The program has brought me closer to the outside world, it has brought my school community closer, and it even brought my family together.” – Becca Faeth

“By participating in civic and volunteer activities, I found my niche. I absolutely love working with people, especially when it is for the betterment of society. This has led me to an undergraduate degree at the University of Cincinnati in organizational leadership with a minor in human resources and nonprofit work. Now I believe that as long as one follows their passion; the size of a paycheck does not seem so important. Fast forward ten years. I plan to be working at a nonprofit such as Ronald McDonald House, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, or Make-a-Wish. I’ll be working alongside individuals who are all there for the same reason; to address an issue occurring in the community, working for justice. My team should consist of human resource gurus that not only focus on community needs, but the needs of their fellow co-workers. Together we will be able to apply our skills and talents to create a positive environment in the workplace and for the people we serve. Magnified Giving has set the path for my future and I will forever be indebted to this amazing organization for doing so.” – Julie Gyure

2014-2015 Participating Schools:

Participating Schools include Aiken High School, Anderson High School, Aurora, Badin High School, Bellevue High School, Bethel-Tate High School, Bishop Brossart High School, Bishop Fenwick High School, Catholic Central High School, Chaminade Julienne High School, Cincinnati Country Day High School, Colerain High School, Covington Catholic High School, Dater high School, Deer Park High School, DePaul Cristo Rey, East Clinton high School, Elder High School, Highlands High School, Holmes High School, Holy Cross High School, Indian Hill High School, Lakota East Freshman School, LaSalle High School, Loveland High School, Madeira Middle School, McAuley High School, McNicholas High School, Mother of Mercy High School, Milford High School, Mt. Notre Dame High School, Moeller High School, New Bremen High School, Notre Dame Academy, Perry High School, Purcell Marian High School, Reading High School, Roger Bacon high School, School for Creative & Performing Arts, Seton High School, Seven Hills High School, Shroder High School, Springer School, St. Henry High School, St. Xavier High School, Summit Country Day, Taft Information Technology High School, Taylor High School, Villa Madonna high School and Wyoming High School.

Cincinnati Bell, a partner of Taft Information Technology High School, donated the seed money for Taft’s grant funding.

Cincinnati Teen Inspires Through Philanthropy & Writing


Cincinnati teen Zai JohnsMeet a very talented author and humanitarian, Zai Johns.

Zai is a senior at Cincinnati Mt. Notre Dame High School and she is someone who inspires me. At a young age, she has a huge heart and understands the power of kindness. She said giving back just does great things for the heart.

“Philanthropy literally means “love of humanity”. In simplest terms it means giving back to your community. This big word has a big punch! Once you understand philanthropy your heart will grow bigger. I know mine did for sure,” she said.

Zai told me her passion for helping others began three years ago when she got involved with her school’s Youth Philanthropy Council (YPC).

“Being a part of helped me push to get my book published. My book is titled Animal Adventurers Book 1: Murder at Thompson Manor which is the first in the series. I wrote this book in order to give animals a second chance for a family and life,” she said.

Over three quarters of the profits goes to nonprofit organization Magnified Giving, towards the Animal Adventurer Grant.

Magnified Giving is a local non-profit that educates youth, mainly high school students about philanthropy through a yearlong program. They research, do presentations, have fundraisers, and at the end of the year give a money grant to a non-profit.

About Zai’s book, Animal Adventures Book 1: Murder at Thompson Manor

Chrissy only knows that she is alone, with no one to turn to. All she has to offer herself is a small amount of hope that her world will go back to normal, whatever normal is.

When Chrissy gets recused her world seems to make a little bit of sense again. She gains a new family composed of Pumpkin, a clumsy black kitten, Lianna, a stubborn know-it-all Dalmatian, and Frosty, an over-excited, talkative Siberian husky. But when a Animal Adventures book by Zai Johnsstranger, with an offer, comes to the door, her secure world comes crumbling down around her. Chrissy must leave behind her safehome, and go on a spiraling adventure to save her family.

Of course her adventure isn’t easy, especially when her new billionaire owner is murdered, and her family is left abandoned once again. Things get even more out of control when her rescuer Brad, is accused of being the killer, and is locked up in jail. Will Chrissy and her family be able to prove Brad innocent and catch the real killer?

The Animal Adventurers is a creative blend of non-stop suspense, drama, and mystery. It’s a heartwarming story filled with courageous, abandoned characters that will do anything for family.

For more information on Animal Adventurers please go to

A Cincinnati Teen Talks About Volunteering & Community Service


I asked Cincinnati teen Jillian Schmidt, a student at Mt. Notre Dame High School, what volunteering/community service means to her and this is what she shared.

“Service is an important part of my life. I love reaching out to others and helping them the best I can with whatever is possible. By Cincinnati teen Jillian Schmidt talks about volunteeringdoing service I learn many things I didn’t know before and I meet new people every time. Every time I do service, I get this feeling in my stomach; it starts off as butterflies and turns into excitement and joy. This is the feeling I get after I help others and while I help others, it is probably one of the best feeling ever. My favorite volunteer work is volunteer work with kids or some type of landscaping volunteer work. When you do volunteer work do something that you love to do or do it with a friend because that always makes it more fun. I think that the most rewarding thing that you can leave with is to know that you helped make a difference and that you helped others.  I have learned to be more grateful for what I have through many of my service projects. I have also noticed or learned that what I may get out of a service project the other person may not get out of the service project. Sometimes I may get a little tired during the time I am doing service, but what keeps me going is the fact that I am helping others.”

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