Kelleher International Scholarship

In July, Kelleher Matchmaking announced the Kelleher International Scholarship with the goal of creating an educational opportunity for a bright-eyed student in need of assistance. This month our scholarship committee has been busy combing through hundreds of student essays answering the question, “How can philanthropy change the world?”

There were so many excellent responses we want to share some snippets with you. If the rest of the world’s young people are as open and mindful as the ones we heard from then our planet and people are in good hands.

There are so many aspects to the world surrounding us that are concerning, and individuals often feel helpless. By getting heavily involved in philanthropy at Lehigh University, I have learned that philanthropy brings communities together and takes small steps towards solving and bringing awareness to a bigger problem. Philanthropy has changed my character by making me more grateful, passionate, and educated on issues, like cancer, that plague our world. Philanthropy has already changed our world by giving people hope, and it shows just how powerful we can be when individuals unite for a cause. Although one’s impact may not always be direct, philanthropy shows the perseverance, strength, and hope that our world needs, and through philanthropic involvement, we can all make our impact on the world. -Alanna from Franklin, MA

There are currently 68 million displaced people in the world. These people are violently exiled from their homes, often with nothing to their name. They have traveled hundreds of miles, and more times than not they find themselves stuck in refugee camps. There, bureaucracy grinds their travels to a halt. In many cases, as is happening in Greece, Italy, Lebanon, and Jordan, they never leave the refugee camps. With no tools to become self-sufficient and no path forward from their host countries, they simply set down roots in the camps. It has become increasingly apparent that these host countries either cannot or will not suffer the cost to get these people back on their feet. This gap in public ability is a powerful opportunity for private philanthropy in the form of two causes: technological innovation and anthropological study. -Michael from San Diego, CA

Being a philanthropist doesn’t mean you have to be a billionaire, because wealth is subjective! I was laying on a cot that others didn’t have. I had two pillows when others had one. In my kitchen, there were cans of my least favorite food, mushrooms. Cans that others would fight for. The next morning, I packed everything and anything I didn’t need and took it to a nearby grocery store that was going to be transporting supplies to hurricane victims. I packed the mushrooms, the extra pillows, raincoats I didn’t need, beanies, socks, toiletries, and even my cot. I slept on the floor for several months and was happy about it. I was giving giving giving. All this giving helped me realize that we can all challenge ourselves more to give some things we take for granted. -Jacob from Brownsville, TX

Faces, so many faces. The words “choose me” along with a birthdate and country of origin underline each frame. There are countless names of children living in poverty that are awaiting someone to choose them. Some may call this philanthropy; I call it a choice to pursue a relationship with someone in need. -Elena from Arvada, CO

All of these experiences showed me the importance of philanthropy and how everyone, regardless of age or status, can make an impact. I believe that being philanthropic makes you not only a citizen of your community but a citizen of the world. -Gina from Strongsville, OH

Relationships exist because we need other people in our lives. We were not made to “go it alone.” Philanthropy is a relationship, even though the donor and the recipient may never meet. -Kira from Christiansburg, VA

I think philanthropy can best change the world because it focuses on long-term effects and it is the love for humankind. -Zoe from Elizabeth City, NC

During this holiday season of giving, the Kelleher Matchmaking team is inspired by these and so many other hopeful messages of love and philanthropy. Kelleher International is excited to award a $2,500 academic scholarship for the spring 2019 semester. We’ll announce the Kelleher International Scholarship winner next week and share his or her essay in its entirety.

“As both a Mom and CEO, it brings me so much joy to see young people stepping into philanthropic roles in their high schools, colleges, and local communities. I have experienced so much personal growth through my philanthropic endeavors and feel confident these students will too! Each act of kindness sends hopeful waves of change into the world,” says Amber Kelleher Andrews, CEO of Kelleher Matchmaking.

Happy holidays from the Kelleher International family.