This article on Medfield’s stalwart volunteer (All Night Graduation Party co-chair and Medfield Foundation youth leadership coordinator, to name a few) Tracey Rogers is from the September newsletter from the Foundation for MetroWest –
We spoke with Tracey before the first YIP class of the year
Foundation for MetroWest: You’ve taught multiple YIP classes over the past few years- what do you enjoy about teaching these students?
Tracey Rogers: I enjoy introducing students to the world of philanthropy. They often start off thinking of philanthropy as simply donating money. As we work through the program they develop a real understanding of philanthropy as a way to make a broader and more lasting impact in the areas they care deeply about. Students come to YIP wanting to get involved and make a difference in their communities. Some arrive already passionate about a cause based on their personal experience. Many acquire a passion for a new issue as they learn about the needs of the community and hear the philanthropic interests of their peers. I’ve lived in the MetroWest area for 20 years and I am amazed at the range and depth of work being done by local nonprofits.
FFMW: How do you see the students change through the program?
Tracey: The students genuinely evolve over the course of the program both as individuals and as a class. Typically the quieter kids will contribute more as they are motivated to speak for programs they want to support. Students who are naturally more outgoing learn to listen more intentionally to another person’s point of view. The program starts with twenty students and by the culmination, students realize they need the skills and knowledge of the entire class to arrive at the best grantmaking decision.
FFMW: Do you have a favorite memory from a prior class or a favorite section to teach?
Tracey: My favorite part of the program is accompanying the students on the site visits [field trips to area nonprofits]. The curriculum prepares the students very well to this point and they conduct themselves with such acumen. The questions students ask are discerning and well-researched but they convey real compassion for the organization’s constituents and mission.
FFMW: What has YIP taught you?
Tracey: I’ve always been very involved in my community and hometown of Medfield. One of the main tenants of YIP is that the students come to agreement through consensus. Facilitating their discussions has taught me to be a better listener and more purposeful in the way I bring forward my ideas when working as part of a committee or a board member of a community agency.