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  • Writer's pictureLynsey Krusie

West Liberty Students Attend Iowa Youth Philanthropy Conference

Nine West Liberty students partcipated in the Iowa Youth Philanthropy Conference on Thursday, August 3 with the Community Foundaton of Greater Muscatne. The conference, organized and sponsored by the Iowa Council of Foundations (ICoF), brought together youth philanthropy groups from across the state to learn, network, and share their experiences. The conference was held at the Iowa Valley Community College in Marshalltown.

The West Liberty students who attended are members of the West Liberty Youth Dream Catchers, a mentoring program that provides academic support to students in the West Liberty Community School District and offers scholarship opportunites for student’s higher education goals. The Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine is piloting a youth philanthropy program, Amplify Youth, in partnership with the West Liberty Youth Dream Catchers. Through the program, students will have the opportunity to gain philanthropic skills, learn about current key issues, and make a difference in our communities.

“We are excited to launch Amplify Youth. It will empower students to make a positive impact in their community. This program will provide them with an opportunity to develop leadership skills and actively participate in philanthropic activities, fostering a sense of responsibility and compassion,” said Niki Moore Nienhaus, Programs Manager at the Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine.

At the conference, students attended workshops and break-out sessions on philanthropy topics like fundraising, advocacy, community needs assessments, and leadership. They also heard from other youth philanthropy groups across Iowa including uVoice from Polk County and Teen Trust from Cedar Falls on how to stay involved in philanthropy after graduating from a youth philanthropy program.

The conference provided an opportunity for the students to interact with their peers, brainstorm, and exchange new ideas on how they can use their voice to improve the West Liberty community.

“I think the philanthropy conference was a good experience because we were able to learn about different communities and how people work together to help each other out. I also learned about some of the ways I could help my town and community in the future,” said Vianney Hernandez, a 9th grade student from West Liberty.

L to R: Moriah Ellis, Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine, Ed Moreno, West Liberty Youth Dream Catchers, Sophia Palma, Rocio Sanchez Rosales, Scarlett Roman, Fatima Aranday, Vianney Hernandez, Daniela Montelongo, Adan Estrada, Aidan Santos, Andre Nicholson, Jamie Leza, Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine

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