By Kellie Waring
Philanthropic Studies B.A., Minor in Community Health
I remember coming to IUPUI for a retreat during the middle of my high school career. We loaded a 15-passenger van with teenagers and volunteer navigators. All of us were very different and came from different backgrounds, including what school we went to, what we were interested in, and what our personalities were like. However, we had something very in common: we made up P.U.L.S.E. of Noble County.
This is an organization supported by The Dekko Foundation that is a student-run, adult-guided youth pod in Northern Indiana. It’s one of only a handful across the nation.
P.U.L.S.E. stands for Philanthropists Utilizing Lifelong Service and Education. Each month, we held meetings and put on a fundraiser or service project for our community. The process to join is long, and due to the fact that we can only take one student out of three schools, it was tough.
A student is able to apply the end of seventh grade and if chosen, becomes a member the summer they go into eighth grade. This is a huge commitment because the student will be a member until graduation. I never thought I would become that member. Being shy was the only thing I was good at. Little did I know that by my senior year of high school, I would become the President of P.U.L.S.E. of Noble County. During my tenure, I ran meetings and made difficult decisions when needed.
This group is the entire reason I knew about IUPUI, the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, and the nonprofit sector in general. Bringing knowledge of grant cycles, obtaining sponsorships, and fundraising into college has led me to become even more passionate about classes for my major.
Being a part of the philanthropic studies program has completely changed my life. Not only are my professors inspiring, but so are my classmates. They are working in the field and have real-world experience.
Philanthropic studies classes have shown me an endless amount of opportunities for my future. With the skills and connections I am making, I can go anywhere. This past summer, I shadowed at Parkview Regional Medical Center under the Volunteer Coordinator. I conducted my own interviews and helped place volunteers in what area they would be best suited. I am already utilizing what I’ve learned in fundraising and what motivates volunteers.
Now that I am a sophomore, I have a year of school and office work. Being able to assist the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy has granted me the ability to see what life after graduation can be like. From working as a front-desk receptionist to aiding the Women’s Philanthropy Institute and communications and marketing team as an assistant, I have grown tremendously as a person.
Not only have I had amazing work experience, but I’ve volunteered as well. I have received the opportunity to shadow in hospitals and health clinics because of my major and community health minor. This has given me the chance to explore different areas of the nonprofit sector. I love getting to know the people I work with and the community that we are growing together.
I strongly believe that we are lucky to be living in the state where the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy calls home. The amount of guidance, love, and friendship I have gained from being here is more than I could have ever imagined. I am not afraid to go into the world because I know that with my education and experience I can be a positive light.