Pitch Your Peers Awards $3,000 Grant to GHS STEM Explorers Club to Expand STEM Across Greenwich Schools

Greenwich High School STEM TEam, SchoolPYP. Contributed photo

Pitch Your Peers, Inc. (PYP), a local collaborative giving group of over 60 women based in Greenwich announced a $3,000 grant to Greenwich High School’s STEM Explorers Club, a student-run organization dedicated to expanding STEM education across Greenwich schools.

The grant is part of PYP’s second annual cycle of School PYP Pitches, where students from across Greenwich-based high schools pitch a charitable cause of their choice to the PYP organization, which then funds the pitches and causes most highly voted on by the PYP members.

In addition to the grant to STEM Explorers Club, PYP has awarded a $2,000 grant to the Junior Breast Cancer Alliance and a $1,000 grant to the Stanwich School for a program connected to Abilis, Inc.

“The SchoolPYP collaboration uses the PYP model – where women commit money annually, passionately pitch their PYP peers on the charitable causes they deem worthy of investment, and then collectively vote on where and how the money should be spent – in local high schools to teach girls the importance of giving a powerful “pitch” for a charity they are passionate about in order to win collective funds for their cause,” said Nina Lindia, President and Co-Founder of PYP. “At PYP, our goal is not just giving. It’s about engaging women, engaging our local community, and now with SchoolPYP, engaging the next generation of women to put our collective energy into making our community stronger. I couldn’t be prouder of the students and causes we are supporting this year.”

The SchoolPYP program engaged three local high schools to help determine how to spend $6,000 in SchoolPYP grant money across Greenwich. Each team of students pitched the PYP membership their ideas at the annual SchoolPYP Pitch Meeting on May 30 th , 2018, which was held at Americares in Stamford. The PYP membership had 2 weeks to deliberate, and then voted online for their favorite Pitch. A great SchoolPYP Pitch includes how the grant money will be used, why the charity needs/deserves the grant and what each proposed service component (volunteer hours by students at charity they are Pitching) looks like. SchoolPYP Grant Champions can and should work with the charity they are pitching, but no representatives of the charity may be present at the SchoolPYP Pitch Meeting.

This way, it’s all up to the Grant Champions to stop apologizing and START PITCHING!

Here’s how it works:

● Individual girls or teams may participate, one charity pitched per team. 1st prize grant: $3,000, 2nd prize grant: $2,000, 3rd prize grant: $1,000 (PYP provides all grant funds, no fundraising is
required by the students).

● Schools/clubs decide internally which charity to Pitch. Each charity must be 501c3 certified and must serve the needs of Greenwich.

● PYP, Inc. provides at least one mentor from the membership per School

Here are the details on our 2018 SchoolPYP Grant Champions:

Greenwich High School, 1 st Prize, $3000
The Pitch: STEM Explorers Club members Charlotte Hallisey and Margaret Zhang earned the most votes for their idea to expand STEM Explorers to 5 local Elementary/Middles Schools in 2019. “Exposing girls to educational opportunities and mentors in the STEM fields while they are still in elementary and middle school is critical to encouraging and maintaining an early passion for STEM. STEM Explorers encourages intellectual curiosity and accomplishment through exposure to like-minded peers and older students, creating friendships based on inclusion, acceptance and engagement, developing in younger children a sense of optimism and initiative to make a difference in their community and in their world at any age. We are deeply grateful to Pitch Your Peers for their recognition and support. Their grant will make it possible to expand STEM Explorers to other middle schools throughout the town of Greenwich.” – Charlotte and Margaret

The PYP Mentors: Leslie Cafferty (Senior Vice President and Head of Global Communications for Booking Holdings Inc.) and Manon DeFelice (Founder and CEO of Inkwell, a startup that matches accomplished professionals with companies that need top talent on a flexible basis)

Team Advisor: Kathleen Mendez, faculty, Greenwich High School, Cantor House

Junior Breast Cancer Alliance, 2nd Prize, $2000
The Pitch: Yale-New Haven Health Mammogram Bus at 2019 BCA Walk/Run. Greenwich High School rising senior, Hayley Duffy, and Sacred Heart Greenwich rising junior, Elexa Wilson, Pitched on behalf of J-BCA. With their PYP grant, they’ll fund, run and market a FREE mammogram bus at the 2019 BCA Walk/Run, an existing and already successful fundraiser. Here’s what Hayley and Elexa had to say about the experience: “On behalf of the Breast Cancer Alliance Junior committee, we cannot thank PYP enough
for this grant. The grant from PYP will go towards expanding on an event that will provide mammograms for women that do not have the economic resources to have one. This will increase early detection and awareness, which is a key component to increasing survival rates.”

The PYP Mentors: Nina Lindia (PYP President and co-founder) and Hillary Corbin (owner and founder of HL Corbin, LLC and President of the Board of the Field Club of Greenwich) Team

Advisor: Yonni Wattenmaker, Executive Director, BCA

The Stanwich School, 3rd Prize, $1000
The Pitch: Abilis Prom! Stanwich students Janaiyah Lamb, Jackie Lubarsky and Cary Rivera Pitched for a PYP grant to host a prom for the clients of Abilis, Inc. The clients of Abilis suffer through disabilities that prohibit their ability to experience typical schooling; including a prom. The funds received through PYP
will help with securing a venue, formal attire, food, and entertainment

The PYP Mentors: Crystal Ramakrishnan (1st year PYP member, Owner and Founder of Bespoke Fête, a Greenwich based event planning company.) and Jordan Silva (3rd Year PYP member)

Team Advisors: Erica Klair, Director of Marketing and Communications, Abilis and Jackie Wood, faculty, The Stanwich School