Youth Philanthropy Board

Vikings help to better the community through charity


Photo courtesy K. Metz

Kaitlyn Metz (12) and Maxwell Booker (12) join with students from the Spartanburg Day School to celebrate a successful Racial Equity Institute training.

Riley Regnier, Entertainment Editor

Where a drive for equity meets Spartanburg’s charitable youth members, The Youth Philanthropy Board takes action. The Youth Philanthropy Board was founded in partnership with the United Way of Piedmont, a nonprofit organization with a mission to inspire people to build a community where everyone thrives. 

The group meets monthly, where they hear from community members who may run or are involved in an influential sector of the community, like a nonprofit or fundraising organization. The members must also complete a committee-selected service project and give away grants to local organizations.  

Eli Waters (11) is a new member of the group and is excited to become more involved in the community. 

“Once a month we meet to discuss plans for local projects and learn about things that can benefit the community. We recently started the process of actually supporting these groups with money the United Way has provided to us,” Waters said.  

One of the board’s main initiatives is their drive for equity in the community. To promote this, they fund organizations that have youth in mind. Some of the organizations they have provided grants to include Brown Girls Read, Ball 4 Good and Hub City Farmer’s Market Urban Farm.  

Kaitlyn Metz (12) has met many friends through the Youth Philanthropy Board and is on the Education Committee of the Board. 

“Our goal with the grants is to make Spartanburg a more equitable and inclusive community,” Metz said. “For example, my committee is having a book drive for students at Cleveland Academy. Not only do we fund organizations, but we are also involved in service projects.” 

Savannah Ray, who works with the United Way and the Spartanburg Academic movement, helped with the creation of the Youth Philanthropy Board. Ray wanted to get the youth involved in philanthropy and to help support organizations that have youth driven missions. This year the board and its members hope to help 10 organizations with $1,000 grants. 

 Maxwell Booker (12) has a passion for serving his community and has been a member of the board for two years. 

I wanted to join the Youth Philanthropy Board because I have a passion for serving my community,” Booker said.  “Also I felt that joining a group of my peers to serve would provide me with valuable experience as I transition to college next year.”