Youth leadership class pays it forward

| February 28, 2019

Nicole Schwartz was one of several members of the current Coshocton County Youth Leadership Class who spoke about her pay it forward project on Feb. 27. The presentations were given during a joint program day with adults from the Leadership Coshocton County Class of 2019. Josie Sellers | Beacon

COSHOCTON – Here’s $100. Use it to make someone happy. This is the challenge that was presented to members of the Coshocton County Youth Leadership Class of 2019.

On Feb. 27 they shared how they accomplished their task during a joint program day with adults from the Leadership Coshocton County Class of 2019.

Carson Coffman decided to see if he could make more out of his money. He refurbished a piece of furniture that was donated to him and auctioned it off for $375.

“Now I had $475, which is a lot of money, but I still didn’t know what to do with it,” Coffman said.

He decided to work with his friend Noah Kobel and together they donated their money to Ava Winner and her family.

“She had a brain tumor that was removed,” Coffman said. “This money will assist them with hospital bills which I’m sure are very expensive. Cancer is just a terrible thing.”

Kobel said he was humbled by the experience.

“I know they are facing a lot of hardships,” he said. “I want to say thank you to the Coshocton Foundation for providing us with the opportunity to do this.”

Andrew Martin also donated his money to Winner and her family.

“She is 9-years-old and has so much life ahead of her,” he said. “One hundred dollars is nothing compared to the life of a child.”

Jaelyn McGee decided to donate her money to Women of Witness. She asked what items they were in need of to help families and ended up purchasing diapers, wipes and school supplies.

“This made me feel very grateful,” McGee said. “Growing up my family never struggled to give me anything I needed. It’s so hard to think that there are people in our community that can’t get the supplies they need or don’t know how they are going to provide for their child on their own.”

When she brought the donations in, the volunteer at Women of Witness told her she was such a blessing.

“This whole experience exposed me to the reality there is a reward in philanthropy and being selfless,” McGee said. “It’s helped me to learn to be more selfless.”

Emma Anderson put her money toward a project being worked on by the teen leadership class at River View High School. They used it to help buy supplies to make fleece tie blankets to donate to the Ronald McDonald House. Seven blankets have already been made and they have $50 left over to make more.

“Most people who stay at a Ronald McDonald House are there because their child has cancer and are at a nearby hospital,” Anderson said. “If we can give them something as small as a blanket I figure why not. I want to thank the Coshocton Foundation for this opportunity to make a difference with $100.”

Like many of the students Nicole Schwartz didn’t know what to do with her money at first. After much thought, she decided to use her money to help a family friend who recently left an abusive relationship. She bought the children winter boots, the mother a winter coat, and provided them with a few Christmas gifts.

“Christmas Day I got a video of them opening presents,” Schwartz said. “I was amazed to see how happy they were with even the littlest gifts. They had so much gratitude for even being able to open one present.”

Natalie Uhl gave her money to the Conesville Elementary Preschool, which allowed the students to vote on how to use the donation.

“They bought educational toys that will help better their future,” she said. “Hopefully the kids grow up into future leaders and better Coshocton.”

Other projects students donated to were the Coshocton County Honor Guard, the sheriff office’s k-9 program, the Pregnancy Distress Center, the Coshocton County Fatherhood Initiative and the West Lafayette Food Pantry.

Betsy Gosnell, executive director of the leadership programs, was very proud of how the students approached their challenge.

“You didn’t take it lightly,” she said. “You took that money very seriously and you all made very good decisions that will have a lasting impact on this community. I want to say thank you to the Coshocton Foundation and the trustees for continuing to support this project.”

Category: Clubs & Organizations

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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