Right here in White County, Indiana, your Community Foundation is making a real impact, especially through its Youth Philanthropy Council (YPC). This council is a clear example of our community's dedication to supporting and empowering young leaders. Today, we're shining a spotlight on one amazing member, whose love for making a difference really stands out in the YPC.
Ryleigh Metzinger, senior at Tri-County High School, is an energetic leader, whose infectious smile and positive demeanor make her a standout presence in the group.
"This marks my third semester with the YPC," shares Ryleigh. The YPC, a hub for local youth to dive into philanthropy, has evolved into a powerful force for change and personal development. YPC members are responsible for identifying needs in their school communities, creating and marketing grant applications, reviewing and researching those projects, and presenting recommendations for a formal vote in front of our governing council.
Since its inception in 2023, the impact of YPC grants across the county totals over $19,000. And for the Tri-County community, $4,500 has been awarded to support a variety of projects such as funding for the Tri-County backpack program, purchase of flexible seating options to improve mental health, update of kitchen appliances for the FACS department, plus so much more.
What Ryleigh cherishes most about being a member of the YPC is the chance to connect with peers from different schools, all rallying behind a shared goal – enhancing the community they all call home. With 24 students representing our four county schools, the YPC helps blur those regional lines to build community collaboration.
Ryleigh expresses, "I hope to spread the love of volunteering and helping others to younger members of the community." Her dedication to inspiring the next generation reflects the very spirit of the YPC—a dynamic space where young leaders not only learn the art of giving back but also cultivate a spirit of altruism.
In her downtime, this youth philanthropist is all about cherishing moments with family and friends. Yet, even in relaxation, her passion for service remains. Actively involved in cheerleading, marching band, track, National Honors Society, SADD, Student Council, and Sunshine Society, Ryleigh isn’t afraid of dedication and hard work. "I am passionate about encouraging others to volunteer and help others," she affirms.
Looking ahead, this YPC member's aspirations extend beyond high school. "I plan on attending Purdue University and will be studying History education. I hope to become a teacher in a small community just like White County."
As she reflects on her YPC journey, Ryleigh concludes "The YPC is a fun group to be a part of, and I have learned so much from being a part of it!" Through the Youth Philanthropy Council, White County is not only fostering a sense of community but also nurturing young individuals like her, destined to become the radiant driving force behind positive change.
If you want to learn how to support the Youth Philanthropy Council and its mission, reach out to Director Lucy Dold at (574) 583-6911.