YC2 undergoes changes

Evolves with pandemic, new participants


The last YC2 session in 2021 where participants were asked to describe the program in one word (Photo courtesy of Murin)

Ella Mahaney, Managing Editor

The Young Community Changemakers program (YC2) was created in 2018 to empower juniors and seniors in the local community to get involved with philanthropy. The program seeks to educate students about how they can impact their community through their time, talent, and desire to help the common good. 

“We’re trying to teach this next generation of young people how to be stewards in our community and then also beyond,” Program and Communications Officer Beth Murin said. “To take what they learn, take it to their colleges, take it to their houses of worship, to their professional communities beyond college, and to really apply those skills as they get older.”

The program that initially included students from Nazareth Academy and LT has since expanded. Last year there were also students from Hinsdale Central and Riverside Brookfield who were a part of the program, Murin said. 

“A student’s experience in Brookfield might be a lot different than a student’s experience in Hinsdale,” Murin said. “So what’s cool about that is everyone’s bringing that diversity to the table, their own unique experiences that help them collectively make more informed decisions.”

As part of the program, students participate in eight sessions where they learn about philanthropy. From there, through a majority vote, they chose five organizations to visit and eventually award a collective $30,000. 

Anne Dillon ‘23 remembers walking in on the first day and realizing how, despite their differences, YC2 participants were all working towards the same goal.

“We all want to make the same change and want to positively benefit our community,” Dillon said. “It just gives me so much hope and makes me so happy that I get to be on a team with these people.”

The shared voices of students from different members are what will help to make a difference in the community, YC2 program participant Avery Berg ‘23 said.

“It’s very empowering, knowing that kids who were unfamiliar to me from this group, and the actions that me and my fellow peers take in this group, will help to strengthen the community and add to the support within,” Berg said. “I think that that is very important, adding value for all within the community.” 

The program is currently being held virtually due to COVID-19. However, prior to the pandemic, the program was held at Plymouth Place in La Grange. In the future, they hope to hold meetings at the Holiday Inn ballroom in Countryside.