While most students enjoy their last days of summer relaxing and spending time with friends, Karlie Hutchins recently chose to spend a few of those precious afternoons at the SCCF office working on plans to make a difference in the community. Karlie is currently the President of FIST – Forever Improving Steuben County—which is the Steuben County Community Foundation’s youth philanthropy organization. Created in 1996 by the Dekko Foundation, FIST is comprised of students from county schools who volunteer and give back to the community, growing into leaders and making a positive impact on Steuben County. Karlie first heard about the organization through a cousin who was already involved. She saw this as an opportunity to make a difference, and she has taken full advantage it of since joining. As a senior at Angola High School, this is her final year as a member of FIST. She plans to utilize her time in the organization spreading the word about their mission and involving more people from the community in their volunteering events.
“I’m excited about this year because it’s a blank slate. It’s nice to start with new members who don’t necessarily know what the group used to do, so we can make our own path together.”
In addition to her high school studies, Karlie is involved in Golf and Gymnastics, as well as Student Council, Key Club, and National Honors Society. She helps out with children’s ministries her church, LCRF, coaches young gymnasts at Tri-State Gymnastics, and works at Sutton’s Deli. When she isn’t busy with school, work, and volunteering, Karlie enjoys spending time her family at the lake. After she graduates, Karlie plans to attend Butler University and study Bio Chemistry with a minor in Philanthropy. She’s excited for the challenging coursework and looks forward to meeting new people. Karlie hopes to enter the medical field, but wants to remain rooted in philanthropy.
In mean time, Karlie hopes to show people that volunteering can be fun. Even when it’s tough to see the impact at first, she wants people to know that they are still making a difference. Karlie hopes to convince people that all the little things they do are important, and to inspire more action on behalf of others. FIST has shown her that the people in Steuben County are setting a great example for working together and supporting local groups. Karlie hopes to share this with others, encouraging adults and youth to work together and inspire community pride.
This article was published with permission from the Steuben County Community Foundation.