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Local high school students serve on Must! Charities Youth Board 

Youth Board Mentoring at People's Self Help Housing[25564]

A member of the youth board mentoring at People’s Self Help Housing.

Youth board volunteers at local charities, helps raise funds

–  Must! Charities Youth Board is investing more than just money in their community. Through a strategic nine-month program, area high school students are challenged to look beyond their social circles and identify the social needs our community faces, to then volunteer for organizations serving those needs and create a fundraising campaign around those causes.

Aspiring philanthropists and community advocates, the board not only researched organizations that are providing services to those in need; but also, sought out volunteer opportunities. Fourteen area high school students, who serve on the youth board, volunteered over 150 hours at SLO Food Bank, Camino Scholars by People’s Self-Help Housing, and Boys and Girls Club.

“Teens are so easily discounted but man, they are a powerful force!” says Kacie Pechota, youth board coordinator. “They have huge hearts and genuinely want to help people but maybe don’t know how. It’s hard to see the need or make an impact when you’re so far removed from the issues, but once you know better, you do better.”

The board is a group of local high school students making a positive difference through collaboration and dedication to learning about social needs, organizations serving those needs, and their responsibility to make a difference for those less fortunate.

“Few programs are as inspiring and engaging as Must! Charities’ Youth Board,” says Garret Olson, CEO of SLO Food Bank. “Through this program, Must! is capturing and developing the hearts and minds of our future generation of compassionate leaders.”Youth Board Volunteering at SLO Food Bank[25563]

Through their own vetting process and drawn from their experience volunteering, the board is now embarking on a fundraising campaign to bring educational field trips this summer to children who would otherwise not have the opportunity. Thanks to local philanthropist DonWitmer, the first $2,500 the board raises will be matched. Not only is he matching their donation, but he championed for the Youth Board to be expanded this year and sponsored program.

To find out more about the Must! Charities’ fundraising charitable campaigns, visit or call (805) 226-5788.

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