Grace Guynn, rising junior
St. Pius X Catholic School
Though Grace Guynn has always had a love for service, she recently found a conduit for cultivating her passion.
Ever since she was young, Grace’s mother, the founder of a nonprofit, has instilled in her a love of serving the less fortunate. But when Grace joined the GivingPoint Institute, she discovered a way to nurture her love of volunteering while also building her own name in the world of philanthropy.
The institute is a nationwide youth development nonprofit that provides young people with tools to build effective projects based on their social causes. In the past year that Grace has worked with the institute, she has worked on constructing a curriculum for preschool children to teach them what volunteerism means and how to become a volunteer.
Grace plans to include three main aspects of community service in her curriculum: helping sick children, hungry children and animals.
Grace says the end goal of her project is to “build a new generation of teens and young adults who have a passion for service, so it comes as second nature to them.”
One of the key aspects of being a member of the institute is the mentorship. Grace is paired with Adam Ross of Social Vest, an Atlanta-based shopping website that allows customers to direct a portion of purchases of specific brands to charity. He has been her mentor since the launch of her project, and is able to guide her from the perspective of someone who has successfully turned his passion into a prosperous company.
“She could have chosen a wide variety of ways to make the world a better place, but by choosing to teach small children about volunteering, she’s connecting with them at an age where she can really impact how they view service,” Ross said.
Through her experience with GivingPoint, Grace says she has learned skills that will lead her to achieving success in this project and future ventures. One of the greatest skills she has learned, she says, is how to effectively communicate her ideas to ultimately convince people to take her and her project seriously.
When Grace is not busy with her service work, she is a dedicated student, having achieved honor roll in each semester. She also plays for the junior varsity volleyball team at St. Pius, and is a team captain for a club volleyball team.
Grace will work through the GivingPoint Institute again for the 2014-15 school year.
–This article was reported and written by Elizabeth Harvey, a student at The Westminster Schools.