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Monday, April 22, 2024

KidsMatter 2 Us – Teens making a difference: The Three Pillars Initiative comes to Naperville


Is your teen passionate about helping others? Do they take part in school and community fundraisers? Do they like to volunteer their time with area charities? Do they want to make a difference in their community?

An exciting new career exploration opportunity for Naperville teens is being developed by Co-Chairs Mark Trembacki and Nina Menis, Program Coordinator Janet Sommerville, and area business, school, college, and organization leaders.

The Three Pillars Initiative (TPI) is a national organization whose mission is to partner with communities to establish youth philanthropy education programs that prepare the next generation of community leaders. TPI is a two-year program that provides hands-on experiences to junior and senior high school students in fundraising, grantmaking and community service – the Three Pillars of Philanthropy – teaching them about the nonprofit world, including the variety of careers that are available to them in philanthropy.

Through the program, students:

  • Gain a stronger awareness of the nonprofit community,
  • Learn about nonprofit careers,
  • Understand their potential for future philanthropic activities, such as charitable investing,
  • board and community service,
  • Develop teamwork, critical thinking, decision-making and communication skills, and
  • Earn college credit through additional course work.

How does it work? High school juniors enroll and make a two-year commitment to the program. The junior cohort learns about the art, science, and business of charitable giving. They create an RFP, request and receive grant proposals from area nonprofits, conduct site visits, and decide how to allocate grant money. The senior-year program is devoted to fundraising. Students create a yearlong fundraising campaign, writing appeal letters, participating in fundraising “asks,” and designing events. Both cohorts complete community service projects utilizing the Three Pillars framework of Strategic Volunteerism.

Applications for the Naperville TPI program open on Sept. 1, 2023.

For more information, visit the KidsMatter website at www.kidsmatter2us.org or the Three Pillars Initiative website at www.threepillarsinitiative.org.

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Nina Menis
Nina Menis
Nina M. Menis serves as CEO & Executive Director of KidsMatter. Nina grew up in Naperville and enjoyed raising a family in Naperville. Nina has worked in advancement for both public and private P-20 educational institutions and area nonprofits for more than 30 years. Contact Nina (pronounced nine-eh) at nina@kidsmatter2us.org or (630) 864-3974.


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