Fleurant was a member of the group presenting on mental health. The students shared their concept of Stop the Stigma, an initiative that would have IU Indianapolis experts and students partner with local schools to host in-classroom presentations about mental awareness.

Gheen, a member of the group focused on housing insecurity, demonstrated how IU Indianapolis and other community partners can host a resource day that would provide basic needs to the community.

Other pitches included Open Discovery, a juvenile incarceration prevention program that would provide a safe environment for students after school, and Students for Seedlings: Student Coalition, which connects IU experts and resources to K-12 students to teach them how to grow their own food.

Each group was assigned two coaches, who are either current or former philanthropy students.

Tony Castrodale coached the housing insecurity team and is a current Master of Philanthropic Studies student who graduates in May.

“I arrived at Lilly after working at the University of Notre Dame in different aspects of fundraising and higher education,” Castrodale said. “However, I realized that if I wanted to grow a career in the nonprofit sector, I would need a broader understanding of philanthropy.

“I looked at different graduate programs, and this school kept coming up in research articles and the resumes of leaders in the field. The common thread is the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. I knew that is where I needed to be; they have the expertise and the experience.”

Wade Arvizu, who will study philanthropy at IU Indianapolis in the fall, won a $7,500 yearly scholarship. He was motivated to apply after his own personal and professional experiences.

“My own lived experiences led me to work with communities who have been impacted by labor exploitation and violence,” Arvizu said. “Working for the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery has allowed me to connect with people all over the world. I have colleagues on every (habitable) continent who have taken courses from The Fundraising School, which is part of the Lilly School.

“The research produced by the Lilly School is world-renowned for its knowledge production. As an Indianapolis resident with a passion for philanthropic leadership, it just made sense.”

After the presentations, over $90,000 in scholarships were awarded and are renewable annually. With the success of the inaugural competition, the Lilly Family School looks forward to continuing this new tradition.

Pitch Your Passion winners pose with their ceremonial checks.

 “Pitch Your Passion is a great opportunity for high school and college students to come together with like-minded people who want to bring about positive change in the world,” said Pamela Clark, assistant dean for enrollment management and student success. “By working with current and former students, it gives participants a glimpse into what attending our school would look like.

“It helps them to visualize philanthropy as a career option and not just something to do on the side. In the world today, things feel so heavy, and I think the future of philanthropy is going to require more collaboration for the betterment of society, and our school is designed to train and teach people about the best ways to bring about change.”

Watch the video

See what participants and mentors say about the inaugural Pitch Your Passion competition.

Description of the video:

00:00:02,002 --> 00:00:04,629
So we're
here today for a amazing opportunity

00:00:04,629 --> 00:00:08,299
provided by the Thomasin family
to pitch our passion.

00:00:08,425 --> 00:00:10,719
so to tell others
what we are passionate about

00:00:10,719 --> 00:00:11,761
and how

00:00:11,761 --> 00:00:14,848
that's going to impact the community
and the world of philanthropy around us

00:00:15,015 --> 00:00:18,018
So pitch
your passion is a place for high school

00:00:18,018 --> 00:00:21,438
students and college students
with less than 60 credits

00:00:21,438 --> 00:00:24,899
to have an opportunity
to talk about a specific idea

00:00:24,899 --> 00:00:28,486
that they have that might bring an issue
towards a solution.

00:00:28,695 --> 00:00:29,654
a really a highlight of the year

00:00:29,654 --> 00:00:31,281
because you see the students
at their best,

00:00:31,281 --> 00:00:34,200
you see what they're eager
about to discover in the future.

00:00:34,200 --> 00:00:35,618
And and it's the students,

00:00:35,618 --> 00:00:39,205
but also the broader community
comes together to see what they're about.

00:00:39,247 --> 00:00:39,914
they're about.

00:00:39,914 --> 00:00:41,666
It's kind of cool
seeing what they're wrestling with

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because I once was in their shoes,
wrestling with those same situations

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and learning how to apply themselves
in a way that would make sense.

00:00:48,673 --> 00:00:51,217
And they just haven't been yet
aware of the The Lilly school

00:00:51,217 --> 00:00:55,388
and how they can teach them to learn
about what they are going through

00:00:55,388 --> 00:00:56,931
and how they can apply it
to the real world.

00:00:56,931 --> 00:00:59,893
at first it was a little nerve wracking
because I was like,

00:00:59,893 --> 00:01:01,561
I don't know if I could make a PowerPoint

00:01:01,561 --> 00:01:04,606
on the spot and research
all these things so fast,

00:01:04,606 --> 00:01:07,942
and we only have 2 hours to make
the presentation and also just clashing

00:01:08,068 --> 00:01:09,360
with different ideas
with different people.

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Because for me personally,
I know I'm more of a on the fly person,

00:01:12,030 --> 00:01:14,783
So I want to make a personal connection
that my group members are more statistics.

00:01:14,783 --> 00:01:17,827
I guess we kind of balance each other out
with that type of thing.

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But it makes me like grateful
to be a part of something like this.

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I'm never
I've never done anything like this before.

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So the two top scholarships
that we offer are a Thomasin scholarship,

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and that is a full ride scholarship.

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We also have additional scholarships.

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So we have a Hurst scholarship,
a Johnson scholarship, a Mays scholarship,

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and several just general undergraduate
scholarship opportunities

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so everyone who can stay and participate
will leave with the scholarship.

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So I am planning on pursuing a degree
in philanthropy next fall.

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So I'm going to be a transfer student

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and the opportunity
to just receive a full ride scholarship

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is really appealing
and would be life changing.

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And so I knew I had to participate in this
event and give it my all.