This year, Kaleb Gannon will serve as president of FIST. Kaleb is a senior at Fremont High School. FIST stands for Forever Improving Steuben County Together. It’s a youth-led philanthropic organization supported by the Steuben County Community Foundation. The group consists of 8th–12th-grade students from Angola, Fremont, and Hamilton schools. This year, they are faced with new challenges from COVID-19. However, they plan to use 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 said being a part of FIST made him “an all-around better person” and gave him “an outlet to give back.” During his four years in FIST, Kaleb shared that the people in Steuben County are his favorite part. 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 and attend Indiana University.