Power to the Students
HSSF Board of Directors Adds High School Students to Board
Writer & Photographer / Demi Lawrence
The Hamilton Southeastern Schools Foundation (HSSF) is a nonprofit foundation dedicated to benefitting all schools in the Hamilton Southeastern area by offering student scholarships and educator grants. This year, HSSF made the decision to add eight students to their Board of Directors, four from Fishers High School and four from Hamilton Southeastern High School. Open to both juniors and seniors, the Foundation hopes that the addition of students will help them gain experience in leadership, philanthropy and community service.
“Student engagement has always been a goal of the Foundation. The expansion of additional student Board seats provides a greater opportunity for student voice, but also great succession planning for the organization,” said HSSF President Tim McCoy.
When Fishers City Councilmen Todd Zimmerman and Eric Moeller found out about this student involvement in the Board, they decided to create a philanthropic fund to give students the power to administer and award micro grants to teachers and schools.
“This is a win-win opportunity,” Zimmerman said with Moeller in agreement. “Students gain practical experience through service learning, and the funds benefit our hardworking teachers. We know that HSE Schools are cultivating future leaders and residents of Fishers. We wanted to create a program that would encourage students to think critically about tough decisions, current needs and planning for the future.”
The Student Board Members had their orientation August 6 where they discussed topics such as the difference between philanthropy and charity as well as focusing on their duties as ambassadors for the Foundation. The students were able to share personal ideas on these topics with Todd and Eric as well as the Executive Director of the Board, Freedom Kolb.
“This type of real world, hands-on experience complements the district’s HSE21 effort,” Freedom said. “Students have so much to contribute to the Foundation and to the community as both decision-makers and change agents. Who better to ask about how to invest dollars toward impact?”
“I think the addition of students to the Board helps the community as a whole because what students contribute to the Board is unique,” Hamilton Southeastern High School Student Board member Olivia Kegley. “One of the reasons I love serving on the Board is because of the many other wonderful adults that we get to work with throughout the year. Everyone on the Board knows that we are all a part of something so much bigger than ourselves, and being able to represent our schools and our community in this way makes me very proud.”
Visit hsefoundation.org to see the full list of the HSSF Board Members or contribute to the Zimmerman/Moeller philanthropic fund.