Catching up with Amit Banerjee, CEO of Philanthropy Kids
Amit Banerjee is a 19-year- old who lives in Dallas, Texas, and is the CEO of Philanthropy Kids, a non-profit organization that celebrates and inspires philanthropy in youths through magazine publications and educational programs.
We caught up with Amit, a student at the Southern Methodist University in Dallas,
to hear his story:
Q. Tell us about your family background.
A. I grew up in a family that really valued giving back and being involved in the community. Both my parents worked as engineers and made me understand how important things like education and being intentional with my time and the people around me are.
Q. What influences led to your early foray into philanthropy?
A. I was in a program called PAVE, which stood for Philanthropy and Volunteerism in Education. This course taught me what a philanthropist is, why it’s important for philanthropists to exist, and how I can be a philanthropist and impact my community. I was also heavily involved in Boy Scouts and took part in several service projects through that.
Q. You started Philanthropy Kids magazine when you were in Grade 8. How
did the idea come about and how easy/difficult was it to do?
A. It was my Eagle Scout project. I wanted to get more youth involved in philanthropy and community service, so I thought: why not have a magazine where kids can read about other kids and be inspired to do good things. It was fairly difficult to start as I had never created a magazine before, but I was fortunate enough to have wonderful mentors who guided me through the project from the very beginning.
Q. Where did you go next with your philanthropic interests?
A. I still continue my efforts with Philanthropy Kids, but I became involved with other organizations too. I served on many advisory councils for different education groups, including the Texas Academy of Math and Science Dean’s Advisory Council and the Frisco ISD Superintendent’s Advisory Council. I am on the Board of the men’s auxiliary group for Genesis Women’s Shelter in Dallas, TX. I am a regular volunteer for TangoTab, a company that strives to end local hunger.
Q. Which causes are closest to your heart?
A. I feel most strongly about domestic violence, education, hunger, and clean
Q. For young kids and youth, which are your three best tips for getting
involved in making a change/ supporting a cause?
A. – Volunteer along with friends. Community service is one of the best ways to become closer with people who you already know. And if you can’t find someone to go with you, try to make a new friend at the place where you’re volunteering.
– Find a place to volunteer that is in line with something that you’re interested in. If you really like basketball, try volunteering with Special Olympics. If you like being around kids, volunteer with Make-A- Wish. There are so many places to volunteer and give back; you’ll easily find something you’re into.
– Just start small. Being kind and nice to others is the first step to improving others’ lives. If you treat others well, you’ll start noticing when people aren’t necessarily treated that way. And if you notice discrimination, you’ll be motivated to get involved in causes that address these issues.