As 2019 comes to a close, we can’t help but look back at the year and reflect on all that has been accomplished. With hearts full of gratitude, we thank every student, every volunteer, and each member of the GivingPoint team for their continued dedication and support. It’s been an incredible pleasure to continue carrying out our mission to create a better world by connecting youth with their passions and empowering students to take action for social good.

Without further ado, we present the Top 10 highlights from 2019!

1. The New Social Innovators Academy (SIA) Framework

This year the GivingPoint team worked to review, edit, and update our Social Innovators Academy Framework for Facilitators. This included the addition of new workshops, hands-on supplemental activities to support the content, as well as an aligned SIA student workbook.  We are pleased to share that this content will now be available on our website for download! Please contact us at one of the email addresses listed below if you would like more information about the newly enhanced SIA Framework.

2. SIA Framework Video

In addition to the updated Framework, we received a generous grant from Marcus Foundation which enabled us to re-package our framework content in the form of videos for each workshop presentation and will add to our on-line learning platform for 2020. We are thrilled with this development as it will not only extend our reach but offer students the opportunity to hear from industry experts on a variety of topics if a presenter cannot attend in person. Once again, thank you to the volunteers who presented for each workshop as well as the organizations that provided space for filming. If you are interested in the SIA Framework Videos, please contact us at one of the emails listed below.

3. SPARKS Event

In April of this year, we celebrated Social Innovators Class of 2018-2019, our largest class of participants at 105!  The Sparks event was held at Naylor Hall in Roswell with 34 social innovator students present to share their poster presentations as well as an SIA Alumni presentation. There were over one hundred attendees at the event including parents, family members, school board and staff members, along with various community members and leaders. Through this event, our students were able to network and make valuable connections which helped them implement their social impact projects.

4. CapitalOne Grant

We are beyond excited to announce that in late 2019 we received a grant from CapitalOne to train their VOICES volunteer corps, that work alongside schools, as mentors for youth. This incredible grant will allow GivingPoint the chance to make a national impact, as well as develop a Professional Development Guide to train others in becoming facilitators for Social Innovators Academy. This comprehensive training and technical assistance will be provided to three cities across the U.S.

5. 2019 Participation

We are proud to say that 2019 saw over 60 students participating in Social Innovators Academy.

  • Milton High School -18 Students
  • Roswell High School -15 Students
  • Riverwood International Charter School – 9 Students
  • Summer Week Intensive I – 8 students
  • Summer Week Intensive II – 12 students
  • Fall 2019 –18 students

6. Partnerships with Key Supporters to include:

This year we had the opportunity to build a partnership with Global Paint for Charity and its Founder Rony Delgarde.  We would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Delgarde for his continued support of our students. Mr. Delgarde has volunteered numerous hours of his time to present to our students and participate in listening panels. He has also assisted several students with creating paint drives at their school.

Milton High School Paint Drive: In May 2019, the entire second-semester SIA Class, led by Catherine Gorman and Harshita Challa, hosted a highly successful paint drive at Milton HS. They collected over 2,500 gallons of paint and more than $2,000 in donations!

“Best Pitch” Fall 2019: We’re extraordinarily grateful to Mr. Delgarde for his generous donation of $500 to the “best pitch” at the close of our Fall Semester 2019 SIA.  He participated in the project evaluation panel and helped select the “best pitch” presentation. Thank you again Mr. Delgarde for your continued dedication to championing our students and Social Innovators Academy!

We also are happy to be partnering with Fulton County Schools and their PEAK Academy to bring Social Innovators Academy to their students.  We will be at their school for the entire Spring semester 2020!

7. Fall SIA 2019 Social Impact Projects

Year after year, our social innovators amaze us with their social impact projects and 2019 was no different. Visit our blog post highlighting our Fall SIA 2019 students and their projects to see how you can get involved!

8. Presidential Volunteer Service Awards (PVSA)

GivingPoint delivered 45 students the PVSA in 2019. The PVSA is awarded to students who volunteer up to 150 hours over the course of the year. Congratulations to the recipients of this award as it is a representation of their commitment to serving in their community!

9. Record number of Presenters in our Network!

This year we saw another increase of over 75 presenters in the number of new and returning presenters for our workshops.  We are so grateful to all of our volunteers who share their time, expertise and mentoring to the students.  We couldn’t do this work without you!  Please let us know if you’d like to join our presenter network…our students are always looking for industry experts to connect!

10. Year Anniversary

April 2019 marked the 10th year of operation for GivingPoint. Our mission from the very start has been to create caring hearts and entrepreneurial minds by unleashing the passion and energy of young people to build an unprecedented level of civic engagement. We are honored, humbled, and overjoyed to continue this journey with our students, volunteers and community. Here’s to the next 10!

“This milestone achievement is a testament to our youth and their desire to make our world a better place, now and for the future,” says Paige Whalen, GivingPoint’s director of programs.

“Because of their interest and participation in Social Innovators Academy, and initiative to network with our presenters and mentors, many of our students have gone on to create organizations that fulfill their passion and fully realize their social impact.  We are proud that they continue to drive what’s good in the world and we look forward to more youth getting involved with GivingPoint and sharing their successes!”

If you, or someone you know, would like to find out more about GivingPoint or Social Innovators Academy, we would love to hear from you. Please email one of our incredible staff members: