Pitch Your Peers Launches Mentor Program to Empower Greenwich Girls

Dara Johnson, Rachael LeMasters, Nina Lindia and Brooke Bohnsack. Photo: Credit: Bob Capazzo

Dara Johnson, Rachael LeMasters, Nina Lindia and Brooke Bohnsack. Photo: Credit: Bob Capazzo

On Wednesday, April 26, teams of local high-school students will pitch their ideas to the PYP membership at the first annual SchoolPYP meeting.

A total of $6,000 in grants will be awarded through this program where members will vote online to determine which team wins.

“Over the course of the last year, we’ve been hard at work crafting a pilot program for local high-school students to participate in,” said co-founder, Rachel LeMasters.

“The program is called SchoolPYPs, and this year it is comprised of a collaboration between the community service clubs at The Stanwich School, Sacred Heart Greenwich and Greenwich High School,” LeMasters continued.

SchoolPYP Pitches will include how grant money will be used, reasons why the charity deserves the grant money and what each proposed service component looks like.

Similar to PYP Grant Champions, SchoolPYP Grant Champions can and should work with the charity they are pitching.

However, no representatives of the charity may be present at the SchoolPYP pitch meeting.

“We hope the community shares in our excitement as we launch SchoolPYPs, a program that uses the incredible skills of our membership to empower girls early on to ‘PYP-UP’ and pitch for what they believe in. We are just as excited as their teachers are about this upcoming pilot,” said co-founder Nina Lindia.

Only one charity will be pitched per school, schools decide internally which charity to pitch, each charity must be 501(c)3 certified and must serve the needs of Greenwich.

First prize grant is $3,000, second prize grant is $2,000 and third prize grant is $1,000.

PYP will provide all grant funds, no fundraising is required by schools. Individual girls or teams may participate, the target group for this program are sophomores and juniors with a current interest in local philanthropy. PYP will provide each school with at least one mentor from the PYP membership.

PYP Mentors Are As Follows:

Greenwich High School

The Pitch: Roots & Shoots Community Garden of Hope: an organic community garden at Greenwich High School which will grow a variety of vegetables, herbs, and edibles. All produce grown will be donated to the local food bank, Neighbor to Neighbor who will then distribute the goods.

The PYP Mentors:  Dara Johnson (Finance Chair and co-founder) and Kirby Grabowski (member of PYP, Lecturer at Columbia University Teacher’s College in Applied Linguistics, and graduate of Greenwich High School)

Faculty Adviser:  Kathleen Mendez

The Stanwich School

The Pitch: Friends of Autistic People (FAP) The funds will supports the organization’s needs and goals by supporting Friends Of Autistic People’s desire to work toward the goal of ensuring that adults with autism receive mandated services that enable them to lead better lives and secure their futures.

With the award of a grant, Friends of Autistic People can immediately continue hosting or offering therapeutic programs.

The PYP Mentors:  Rachael LeMasters (Grants Chair and co-founder) and Lisa Garner (PYP member, Executive Director of the CT Association for the Gifted)

Faculty Adviser: Jackie Wood

Sacred Heart Greenwich

The Pitch: Greenwich Woods Rehabilitation and Health Care Facility.  The grant will help fund an Oral History Project (a collaborative effort between the students at the residents at Greenwich Woods.)

In order to preserve the histories of each resident, a permanent testament to their lives will be created in either video or book form.

The PYP Mentors: Nina Lindia (President and co-founder) and Leslie Cafferty (PYP member, and Vice President and Head of Global Communications for The Priceline Group, the world’s third largest global e-commerce company.

Faculty Adviser:  Kerry Bader

Please visit Pitch Your Peers online for more information (pitchyourpeers.org).

About Pitch Your Peers

Pitch Your Peers is a 501(c)(3) public charity with a mission to engage women in philanthropy and to collectively fund grants to charitable initiatives that serve the Town of Greenwich, Connecticut. The organization’s goal is to identify unmet needs and impact the local community through awarding a deserving not-for-profit with a significant grant on an annual basis.

The members of PYP are committed to volunteerism and promoting awareness of local programs that work to better their community. Through education members are able to make worthy philanthropic choices and meet like-minded women who share their passion and interests. pitchyourpeers.org


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