The roots of Leadership Toledo date back to 1976 when members of Trinity Episcopal Church were looking for ways to do something for the downtown community where it is located. A separate not-for-profit corporation called Levis Square Ministries was created to design programs to be presented at a noontime coffeehouse called “My Brother’s Place.” Soon the programs grew to including one-day forums on topics of concern to the community.
The success of the forums led to the creation of ToledoScape in 1980 to foster community involvement among leaders and potential leaders in the greater Toledo area. In 1990, ToledoScape was renamed Leadership Toledo. Seven years later, the board of Leadership Toledo decided that they should expand to offer the same benefits to youth in the greater Toledo region; hence, Youth Leadership Toledo was born.
In 1998, The Toledo Community Foundation asked Leadership Toledo to expand its youth programming to include philanthropy. In response, Youth in Philanthropy Encouraging Excellence (YiPEE) was created to provide area high school students an opportunity to learn about philanthropy. The students’ goal each year is to raise as much money as possible and to thoughtfully distribute the proceeds to youth groups and not-for-profit organizations who deal with issues affecting the lives of teenagers.
Youth Jefferson Awards/Students In Action was added in 2009 as the third youth programming focus for Leadership Toledo. Students in Action is a partnership between Leadership Toledo and the prestigious Jefferson Awards for Public Service, a national organization with a long history of recognizing community members for service. They selected Leadership Toledo to assist in the development of a youth component to their “Nobel Prize” for public service. The student-led initiative establishes programs in area high schools that teach youth how to be effective servant leaders, provides a component to recognize youth for outstanding service, and use the profiles of winners to encourage more students to volunteer and become involved in our community. All four programs continue to be housed at Trinity Episcopal Church.
Leadership Toledo continues to look for ways to get more individuals involved in the community to make the Toledo region a great place to be.
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