Last fall it was so wonderful to have been given the opportunity to learn about one of our region’s truly great philanthropists – Roger Grein when I helped raise awareness of his contributions. Roger has given to local nonprofits with his resources and his heart. However, his greatest legacy is in the hearts of thousands of young people in whom he and his Magnified Giving team of staff and volunteers have instilled long lasting generosity.
Magnified Giving is a nonprofit organization whose mission it is to educate, inspire, and engage students in philanthropy. Its vision of Magnified Giving is for every high school student in America, starting with the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area, to someday have the opportunity to learn first-hand how to be generous and wise philanthropists.
Each year, participating school groups are challenged to determine how they want to invest up to $2000 in a nonprofit. They research, evaluate nonprofit grant applications, fundraise to earn matching dollars – gaining leadership, communication, and teamwork skills as part of the process. This spring in a packed auditorium of over 600 students, teachers, nonprofits, donors, parents, and community leaders, nearly $50,000 was presented to causes doing great work.
“The most rewarding aspect of Magnified Giving is when what we do in the classroom reaches beyond the walls of the school in a tangible way. I see students ‘get it’ when they come back from a site visit,” said Julie Vehorn, director of curriculum and instruction at Roger Bacon High School overseeing her school’s Magnified Giving program.
Aiken College & Career
Cincinnati Country Day
Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy
Miami Valley Christian Academy
Mother of Mercy
Mt. Notre Dame
Notre Dame Academy
Perry High School
School for the Creative and Performing Arts
Summit Country Day
Madeira Middle School
Northern KY Youth Advisory Board
What an unbelievable experience for these Ursuline Academy students – going to Paris! It was part of a pilot Academic Exchange Program with St. Josèph Lycèe in Reims. Seniors Jessie Ewen of Loveland and Brooke Kurkjian of Mason and juniors Julie Ivers of Symmes Township, Katie Polson of Mason, Zenab Saeed of Indian Hill, and Catherine Strietmann of Mount Lookout, were accompanied by Ursuline world languages teacher Lynda Hoffman-Jeep and guidance teacher Katy Zwolinski.
“The French Exchange Trip was an experience that truly changed my life. I learned that traveling abroad gives you a learning experience that you can never receive through a classroom or in a textbook. It is something totally unique that you cannot understand until you visit the country,” Catherine Strietmann said.
The students spent time with their French host families, whose daughters are part of the pilot academic exchange program and visited Ursuline Academy this past spring. While in Reims they attended classes at St. Josèph Lycèe, and some of them even stayed in the school dorms. The Lycèe attracts two-thirds of its students from Paris and the surrounding countryside, and is a boarding school as well as a day school, Hoffman-Jeep said.
Ursuline will host another group of female students from St. Josèph’s next spring.
It is so wonderful to see young people being encouraged to make a difference in their world. More than 1200 Greater Cincinnati high school students from over 100 schools attended last October’s Anthony Munoz Foundation’ s Youth Leadership Seminar where they were challenged to come up with a community service project to spread kindness. Their ideas made such an impact.
Students at Ursuline Academy already make sandwiches that they donate for distribution through a local shelter and they have a club that knits scarves for those who need warmth. Now, each of those recipients will be getting a ‘love note’ attached to the gift that students made as part of their Youth Leadership Seminar project. It is all about uplifting those who can benefit from nurturing encouragement. I just love it! And by the way, I am told this was totally student driven.
With support from the Mayerson Foundation High School Service-Learning Program, students from nine area Cincinnati high schools helped raise awareness about a child’s walk to school in Tanzania by walking through our downtown.
Teens from Aiken High School, Arlington Heights Academy, Finneytown High School, Gamble Montessori, Lockland High School, McAuley High School, Mt. Healthy High School, Ursuline Academy, and Wyoming High School/Wyoming Youth Services researched the needs in Tanzania through Village Life Outreach Project – a Cincinnati-based non-profit organization that partners with Tanzanian villages to design and implement sustainable projects to fight poverty, provide access to clean water and health care, and improve educational outcomes.
In rural Tanzania, East Africa, students walk nearly six miles to school, which can take up to three hours one way.
It was in 2010, when Wyoming and Finneytown High School students and staff supported the children in Tanzania by creating the “Walk in My Shoes” Challenge – a 5.5 mile walk in Cincinnati from Salway Park to Fountain Square. It was an effort that quickly spread.
Proceeds from the Walk help fund the Village Life Outreach Project Ugi Nutrition Program in Tanzanian schools. Ugi is a nutritious meal that feeds 1,200 Tanzanian students who walk to school per day and would otherwise go malnourished. The total cost to feed all 1,200 primary school children per year equals a daily cost of $0.04 per child.