To better prepare our soon to be graduates for future endeavors beyond TL, Academic Excellence@TL held it’s second annual seminar on Finance & Philanthropy --a seminar designed for our seniors to be introdued to the fundamentals of personal finance, and to foster a greater understanding of the power of giving back to community. Amanda Weitman, Former Chair of Academic Excellence@TL 2014, and Vice President Wells Fargo Private Bank, along with her associates at Marin Community Foundation (MCF) generously developed this two-day seminar to provide our graduates with the tools and knowledge to make smart financial choices and to engage in mindful philanthropy early in life. Understanding personal finance early in life allows students to gain control of their financial lives to enable them to follow their passions and dreams to make a difference in the world. AE@TL seeks to provide enrichment programs to better prepare our students for their endeavors beyond TL.
Personal Finance 101
"Does money buy you happiness?" Weitman asked our eager seniors, while exploring how personal finance gives one the freedom and ability to accomplish their dreams. Our students learned that money affects how you lead your life, and how choices become limited without it. The impacts of college debt was a topic that immediately grabbed the attention of our student audience. Weitman then shared engaging stories of people with tremendous income, who were also in debt, and living pay check to pay check; underscoring the importance of financial literacy. The eye-opening numbers and graphs she projected on to the screen added up to show how nearly impossible it is to live in Marin on $10 per hour. Our students also learned how making smart financial choices early in life frees one from being imprisoned by the stuff one owns, being stuck in your job, and living paycheck to paycheck. The take-away for our students was a strong understanding of personal finance early in life; enables you to take control of the kind of life that you want to live; and allows you to follow your passions and focus on what really matters to you. Our students left the seminar with a greater sense of personal empowerment and more ready to understand how their finances impact them as young adults.
Spirit of Philanthropy
"Philanthropy is about a spirit...," explained Brian Van Weele, Director Philanthropic Planning, MCF and TL alum, Class '81; while identifying that the best examples of philanthropy integrate personal passions and values with the goals of the organization or cause that one supports. The MCF team guided the class of 2015 through a rich understanding of the spirit of giving back to your community in time, talent or treasure for the common good. Students explored questions like: What is philanthropy, and its role in society today? How is it practiced? And, what are the benefits to the giver and receiver? To illustrate the tremendous need for support of the poor in our global community, MCF incorporated stories from the award-winning book by Thomas A. Nazario, Living On A Dollar A Day. The book shares the personal stories of some the poorest of the poor, honoring their lives, their struggles, and encouraging action in those who can help. MCF team also brought the discussion closer to home and raised awareness of the large number of nonprofits in Marin, as well as, the opportunities to support the needs of the underserved in health care, education and environment. Moreover, MCF provided perspective on the many opportunities, in addition to financial support, to give back and make a difference by volunteering in our own community; including donating time, skills and expertise. MCF leaders fostered an understanding and encouragement of charitable behavior, to empower our students to take action for things they deeply care about for the common good in their communities and lives--a wonderful gift to take with them when they head out into the world beyond TL.
A Gift to Our Students & Community
Team MCF concluded with a mindful activity of giving back to our students, and also to our community. MCF generously gave $1,000 to a local nonprofit on behalf of TL graduating seniors as their 2015 class gift. In a vote, the Class of 2015 selected the recipient of their class gift, following a presentation by MCF of three diverse local non-profits as possible grantees: OMA Village, Maker Mobile, and WildCare. OMA Village, a new residential housing facility for 14 homeless families in Marin, won the vote as grantee for their class gift. It was no surprise for this savvy class to take action and support people over education and the environment; reflecting their concerns for the homeless in their community. WildCare was the runner up, reflecting our graduating class' close connection to the environment they share with our local wildlife. TL Class of 2015 thanks our friends at the MCF for sponsoring their class gift in such a memorable and meaningful way!
Thank you for your Generosity
Our hats-off to Amanda Weitman and the MCF team: Dine Demarlie, Linda Sweeney, and Brian Van Weele, for providing powerful seminars on giving back to community, and for educating students on the basic skill sets for personal financial responsibility and management that will enable our students to do the things that matter most to them, while making a difference in their world beyond TL.