Macon County high school juniors and seniors, many of whom are fulfilling requirements for Bridge Builders Alabama, meet every other Tuesday night at Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church on Highway 81 between Notasulga and Tuskegee. Auburn University undergraduates work alongside them, as they develop skills related to life, work, and college. The program is funded in part by the Appalachian Regional Commission.
Tonight we participated in the second of two sessions on money management and philanthropy led by friends from the Auburn University Cary Center for the Advancement of Philanthropic and Nonprofit Studies, whose mission is to promote financial and philanthropic responsibility and nonprofit leadership. Sid, Sam, Whitney, and Lauren began the REAL Cents REAL Change session by introducing the four Ts of philanthropy: Time, Talent, Treasure, and Trust. Students shared their passions and their hopes for the kind of world they want to live in as adults.
Philanthropy might be a sophisticated word for teenagers, but they quickly understood the meaning of its Greek roots, which literally translated means “love of humans.” Teenagers from rural communities probably experience the concept more than urban teens, since rural communities tend to depend on neighborliness and home-grown ingenuity to make the most of life. We finished the night with some really fun games to review all of the concepts covered by Cary Center representatives, and we appreciate our new friends leading us to make real change.