I recently had the honor of participating in Kaplow’s annual Volunteer Day with a group of fellow colleagues. We took the day off from our office duties and carpooled upstate to Glen Spey, NY, the home of Project Morry.
Project Morry is a year-round youth development organization that is anchored by a residential summer camp experience. Kaplow’s founders Liz Kaplow and Evan Jacobs are ongoing contributors in honor of their beloved friend and the organization’s namesake, Morry Stein.
It was an incredibly rewarding and inspiring day, surrounded by fantastic kids. We spent the day with a group of 25 high school juniors – most of whom have attended Project Morry since they were around nine years old! They were a driven bunch, and had dedicated their summers to post-high school plans and the college application process.
Our Kaplow group led a special workshop for the students, focused on their personal brand stories. The goal was to help them create and deliver their story effectively for the interviews and essays that lied ahead. We shared communication and presentation exercises, such as elevator pitches and mock college administrative interviews. We talked to them about the 5 C’s of effective pitching – Concise, Clear, Compelling, Customized, Conversational – and the importance of understanding their audience.
The high school students absorbed everything quickly and it was evident that most knew exactly what they wanted to do and become after graduating. Some even attributed their aspirations to Project Morry. In the end, the group probably taught us more than we taught them. On the car ride home my colleagues and I marveled at how mature, thoughtful, driven and polite the campers were.
The experience made me realize how local organizations can truly make a difference in the lives of underserved children who need a chance and enriching learning experiences. Days like this and young individuals like the ones we met at Project Morry are reminders that there is a bright future in store! For more information about this camp program or to donate, visit their website here.