YPI is proud of its alumni. Here are a few statements about the impact YPI has had on them as they pursue their college education.
My experience with YPI was nothing short of life-changing. I learned an incredible amount about myself through the thoughtful lessons brought to our group. We were challenged to step outside of ourselves and analyze the dynamics of a functioning group, to recognize and benefit from the strengths within ourselves and about the advantages of acknowledging one's shortcomings. I learned skills in team building which are continuing to benefit me now in college and will continue to help me throughout my life. I learned about philanthropy and began to question my thoughts on altruism. YPI helped my confidence because I saw myself as an active part of a revolutionary idea and began to understand my abilities in a whole new way. Not to mention that it restored my faith in my peers to work so closely and dependently with all of them. Most importantly I was able to help implement a successful program which will benefit Tulsa teens for years to come! It was truly an honor to have been a part of this program and I will take and share what I've learned with me for the rest of my life. If you'd like to step outside of the boredom and confusion that can surround your teenage years, I recommend getting involved with YPI to change the way you see yourself and how you fit in the world. I promise it will be empowering.
The Youth Philanthropy Initiative assisted me in building many skills and interests that have helped me to succeed in my first year at The University of Tulsa. Although YPI helped me learn important skills such as organization, communication, and time management, one of the most significant things my experience with YPI helped me gain is confidence. YPI helped me gain confidence by bringing out characteristics in myself that I never knew existed. I learned that I have the ability to assist in implementing into my community a program that has importance to me, such as the Adolescent Depression Awareness Program. I learned that I can create a grant proposal, contact foundations, and raise money to help continue such a program. I learned that I can effectively communicate with professionals and colleagues in order to achieve my goals. Finally, I learned that with the use of my skills and the skills of others, I can have a greater influence upon my community than I ever thought possible. This confidence and these skills have aided me in interviews, applications, meetings, and simple day to day life, and I am thankful that I will have these tools to work with and build upon throughout my future.
I did not understand how grateful I was to be a member until I had to do the interviews for cohort 3. After watching the applicants for cohort 3 I was brought to the realization that there are so many teens out there with the passion to help change Tulsa and yet only 20 teens were selected for this program. I know that YPI is not the only way to give back to the community but the lessons I learned from it are priceless.
Schools may teach you the basics such as Math and English, but not how to succeed in life. You are given the basic building blocks but you’re never taught how to put them together.
Having been given this chance to be part of this group has really changed my future. I was destined to be in the medical field but instead I was given the skills to figure out what I wanted to do in life and the skills to attain that goal. Being raised in a family full of doctors, nurses and pharmacists there was so much pressure and such high standards for me to live up to. Everything I did was never good enough because I knew that I could never reach as high as my brothers and sister had previously. School was never interesting to me and I never knew what I could do in the future. I considered myself a slacker, and when anyone asked what I wanted to do in life, I would usually give them the typical teenage reply: “I don’t know.” 6th grade to 11th grade was very difficult because I would always see my peers do bigger and better things than I. It just never clicked in my head that I had the ability to be one of the people that I looked up to if I had the passion and drive to achieve it.
Being a member in this group has taught me what it is like to have a passion for something and the drive to achieve it. I have never felt this way about any of the activities in my life, from my hobbies to my schoolwork. This has resulted in my being more focused than ever. I will now be attending the University of Tulsa with the intent to receive my MBA. Because of YPI I have the drive to achieve my goal and no obstacle will deter me from my goal.