Kurn Hattin Student Named Top Youth Philanthropist
November, 19 2012 | Westminister, VT – Lyssa Jackson, a graduate of Kurn Hattin Homes for Children in Westminster, Vt., and The Putney School, has been awarded the 2012 Award for Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy, given by Demont Associates and the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ Northern New England Chapter (AFP-NNE).
The award is given annually to an individual, ages 8–17, who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to the community through direct financial support, development of charitable programs, volunteering and leadership in philanthropy.
Jackson, currently a freshman at Skidmore College, accepted the award on November 15th—National Philanthropy Day—during the AFP-NNE Conference in Stowe, Vt. She received a $5,000 scholarship check toward her studies at Skidmore. AFP-NNE President, Christie Baskett, says of the decision, “The committee was unanimous in its selection of Lyssa as this year’s award recipient. She is an exceptional young woman and an excellent example of the kind of positive impact young people can have on their communities.”
Having faced numerous adult-sized challenges during her early childhood, including the death of her father at a young age and caring for her mentally ill mother, Lyssa was placed in the care of her grandmother at age 10. When her mother’s illness became more severe, the family chose to send Lyssa to attend school at Kurn Hattin Homes for Children, in Westminster, Vermont, a charitable home and school for children in need from throughout the northeast. The organization runs entirely on charitable donations. Lyssa graduated from Kurn Hattin Homes for Children in 2008 and then received a full scholarship to attend the nearby Putney School.
Last year, while a senior at The Putney School, Lyssa mobilized her fellow students to raise funds for Kurn Hattin Homes for Children, so she could give back to the place that she felt gave her a chance in life. “I can never fully repay Kurn Hattin for what they gave me, because what they gave me goes beyond value,” she reflected, “Kurn Hattin didn’t turn me into the person I am, but it allowed me to become the person I knew I could be.”
As part of The Putney School’s 2nd Annual Community Workday, students performed manual labor tasks for residents in the community, with the proceeds going to a selected charity. Putney School students chose Kurn Hattin Homes for Children last year after a heartfelt presentation from Lyssa. She told of her hardship as a child and how a home for children just down the road helped her become who she is today. Her classmates voted in her favor to not only support Kurn Hattin but also to support Lyssa, their friend and classmate. At the end of just one full day of hard work in the community, the group had raised $5,316 for Kurn Hattin.
About Kurn Hattin Homes for Children
Established in 1894, Kurn Hattin Homes for Children in Westminster, Vermont is a charitable home and school for boys and girls, ages 6-15, who are affected by tragedy, social or economic hardship, or other disruption in family life. Its mission: Kurn Hattin transforms the lives of children and their families forever. www.kurnhattin.org.
About The Putney School
The Putney School is a co-educational, college preparatory, boarding school for students in grades 9-12 from 22 states and 25 countries. Putney is a progressive school which values experiential education, has a powerful arts program, and takes seriously the need to live sustainably. www.putneyschool.org
About Demont Associates / AFP-NNE
Demont Associates, based in Portland, Maine, provides philanthropic counsel to non-profits. AFP of Northern New England is comprised of 230+ members from the states of New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine. The organizations hold an annual conference every November, offering professional development and educational and networking opportunities. The conference includes the awards ceremony, which honors individuals and groups for their outstanding philanthropic endeavors.
Other awardees at this year’s conference include Jane and Bill Stetson, the Stiller Family Foundation, People’s United Bank, and Leslie Halperin.