By JoAnna Ness, Oct 7 2020 01:45PM
This year, Kaleb Gannon, a senior at Fremont High School, will serve as president of FIST, Forever Improving Steuben County Together. FIST is a youth-led philanthropic organization supported by the Steuben County Community Foundation and consists of 8th–12th grade students from Angola, Fremont, and Hamilton schools. This year, they are faced with new challenges from COVID-19, and will move to a more virtual platform as they work to develop a love for philanthropy in others.
Kaleb hopes to “make the most of their given situation and keep a positive mindset.” One of the major projects for FIST this year will be transferring their FLIP program to an online format. FLIP stands for Future Leaders in Philanthropy. Last year, FIST members visited each 5th grade class in Steuben County and informed students about philanthropy. FIST gave each class $250 and led them through the process of awarding this grant to the nonprofit of their choice. This year, FIST members will work to make videos in place of in-person instruction. Kaleb shared that transforming FLIP is the project he is most excited for this year.
Kaleb reflected on his time with FIST and shared that being a part of FIST has made him “an all-around better person” and given him “an outlet to give back.” During his four years in FIST, Kaleb discovered that his favorite part of Steuben County was the people. He shared, “Hands down there is no better county in any state. I have never met so many people willing to do so much for one another for nothing in return.” After graduation, Kaleb plans to pursue his dream job as a prosthodontist by furthering his education at Indiana University.