You know how you get an idea in your head…then things turn out way differently?
Lauren Butler, a senior at East Noble High School, works with us half days as an ICE (Interdisciplinary Cooperative Education) Student. We asked Lauren to share her top five surprises about working at the Dekko Foundation. They are:
1. “The grant proposals go through many more phases of consultation and review than what I thought.” (Each proposal is reviewed by a program officer, a group of program officers, all staff members, our Grant Review Committee and our board of directors. We all have the opportunity to offer information. Our board makes the final decision.)
2. “I learned what a Youth Pod actually is! I had heard of the local group, P.U.L.S.E., but I never actually knew what they did or how they started.” (Youth Pods are groups of young people who are interested in bringing about positive community change. P.U.L.S.E. is located in Noble County, Indiana. These groups receive some financial support from our foundation to do their charitable work.)
3. “My best friend was the I.C.E. student here last year, and she was always talking to me about making Bubbles. She had always told me that she would either work downstairs or in the workroom. The image that always popped in my head was her in the basement with one of those old school chalk boards that flipped around in a room with bad lighting. The board was filled with hot pink and bright blue speech bubble stickers filled with writing pasted on the board. After doing Bubbles on my own, I now realize there are no chalkboards or speech bubble stickers, and there is excellent lighting.” (Bubbles are teen-directed lessons about philanthropy…Lauren has used her creativity to help us with that project. BTW–our basement is not a bad place to be! )
4. “It is very tastefully decorated.” (Our office is located in Mr. Dekko’s former home. It is a very nice building that looks out on a lake. We do have some really comfortable pillows in our reception area.)
5. Each grant is handled by one staff member to begin. It doesn’t start out with the entire staff looking at a grant and reviewing it. That phase happens later on. (In that early phase that Lauren refers to, much of our work is spent with our grantseekers. We usually meet in person…sometimes by phone…to make sure that we understand the proposal inside and out.)