June 20, 2024

GPL Enters 5th Year!

St. John’s Global Philanthropy Leaders (GPL) will begin its fifth season of classes in fall 2024. This initiative, which was started by staff and lay leaders, gathers high school students in a small group setting for lunch and a monthly discussion about sharing in God’s abundance through investment. There are three classes that meet on Sundays (September through April) during the program year!

WHO IT IMPACTS: Through the GPL program, Youth are entrusted with church funds to make micro-loans (through kiva.org) and positively impact people in the US and around the world.

WHAT YOU LEARN: Using scripture and group discussion, we consider “who is our neighbor?” and how can we share God’s abundance by investing in others. Additionally, Youth learn about risk, diversification, barriers to capital, and debt. They acquire a basic understanding of loans, what life is like for the poorest of the poor, and what kinds of programs do and don’t help. They also learn the difference between spending one’s own money and being entrusted with the responsibility of being good stewards of church funds. Youth involved in GPL take on leadership roles, deepen their faith, and work together to create a final presentation for the parish.

PROGRAM LEADERS: GPL is led by Stephanie Amidon (lay leader) and Youth Ministry leaders, along with parishioners and professionals from the Tallahassee community in the fields of education, finance, government, economics, biology, and technology: Ben Bowersox, Austin Carroll, Jeff Couch, JR Saginario, and Bo Shippen.

COURSES OFFERED: All new students must first attend the “Year 1” session. Returning students will have the option of continuing with our “Year 2” curriculum or advancing to our “Year 3” offering.

  • Year 1: global philanthropy, micro-loans, personal finance, global poverty, and hunger
  • Year 2: economic impact of racism in America
  • Year 3: creation care – investing in a sustainable future

TIME COMMITMENT: We ask that Youth commit to attending ALL sessions on the following dates. Gatherings will be held from 12:30 to 2:30 PM on Sundays, unless otherwise indicated:

  • September 22, 2024
  • October 3, 2024 (Thursday at 6 PM) – Dinner & Movie
  • October 27, 2024
  • November 17, 2024
  • December 15, 2024
  • January 26, 2025
  • February 23, 2025
  • March 30, 2025
  • April 27, 2025 – Parish Presentation during Coffee & Connection Hour

FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTION: Upon acceptance into GPL, we request that all first-year students contribute $25 at the first Sunday session, preferably from their own savings/earnings to combine with funds provided by St. John’s to make loans. This by no means should be a barrier for anyone, need-based scholarships will be available upon request. Returning students will invest with accumulated loan repayments.

Use the form below to apply for the 2024-25 Global Philanthropy Leaders program. Applications will be accepted through 7/31/24. Please contact Stephanie Amidon with questions regarding GPL or the application process.

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