The Susan Landis Youth Philanthropists (SLYP) are the youth board of the Beckley Area Foundation (BAF). The youth board consists of students ages fourteen to eighteen who work to address the needs of youth in Raleigh County as well as neighboring counties. Throughout the year, SLYP members: Develop leadership and communication skills Design and participate in service projects Research and connect with local nonprofit organizations Learn from local philanthropists about the potential impact of giving Become effective grant-makers and strategic youth philanthropists
SLYP participants are dedicated to using volunteerism, grant-making, and philanthropy to act as positive youth role models, to improve the surrounding community, and create social change. The program gives young people a voice in the issues that affect them now and the skills to confront the challenges they will face in the future. The best way to learn generosity, gain leadership skills and value community service is by direct exposure and involvement.
As a member, it is expected that you: Are open to opportunities for personal growth (i.e. leadership skills) Attend monthly meetings from August-May Learn about youth needs and assets in our community Make a difference in our community Make decisions about granting funds to youth projects
In 2016, BAF board members Amanda Sauchuck and Beth Jarrell co-chaired the youth programs committee working on ways of “actively involving the community, particularly students, in learning what BAF is all about.” In December 2016, the BAF board approved the youth board concept and the recommendation it be named in honor of long term Executive Director Landis, who had announced her upcoming retirement, and with that the Susan Landis Youth Philanthropists (SLYP) began. In July 2017, before the inaugural board was formed Susan Landis, former Executive Director, passed away following a sudden illness. In the words of a SLYP member during a luncheon honoring Susan, “We all leave behind a legacy, but Susan set a tremendous example by serving others and leading with integrity.”