Teen Trust rewards student participants

Sponsored by the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa, 24 lucky individuals from around Black Hawk County get the chance to experience youth philanthropy. 

“Teen Trust was created with a vision in mind—to prepare youth to be “trustees of their community.” At the heart of becoming a trustee means finding a way for youth to learn about and also actively practice philanthropy,” CFNEIA said on the website. 

Junior Ahmad Madlock joined the philanthropy program in September of 2019 and quickly became a grants committee member. Madlock often led conversations and worked on how discussions are structured. 

Ranging from donations to simple discussions, the Teen Trust program has helped young adults contribute to their community. “Each committee has their own goal, but overall, the allocation of the funds we are given, in order to better our community and address the issues in it,” Madlock said. 

Madlock said he strongly encourages joining the program at least once throughout high school. “Aside from how phenomenal it looks on college applications, the bonds you create among those present is worth the world,” he said. 

The program lasts a full school year, meeting about once a week both semesters. From 6-8 p.m., the students talk about anything, ranging from what kind of breakfast food is best, to the systemic breakdown of low-income housing developments. Discussions, serious or not, are a product of an open conversation space created.

Madlock said he plans on joining the Teen Trust program next year as well. Based on the number of students asking him about the program, he said it looks like there will be more participants next year as well. “Join, join, join. It’s a great opportunity and an awesome time,” he said.

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