Celebrating those who give back
Name: Terry Carroll, Elgin – St. Thomas Community Foundation
Title: Executive director
We reached out to Terry to find out why the Elgin-St. Thomas Community Foundation chooses to support the STEAM Education Centre and our programs and how you can too! The Community Foundation helps people and families give back to charities they care about to help address local, community needs.
When did you get involved with STEAM?
Our first involvement was in late 2016 when STEAM hosted an open house at the former Wellington Street Public School. At that time, it was important to begin to understand the Centre and where we might play a role.
How has the Community Foundation played a role in this involvement?
Our role has largely been as a funder. We have also played a small role in helping spread the word about STEAM.
How have you given back to the STEAM Education Centre?
In addition to our role as a funder, we did one thing so small it sounds almost silly to mention. We had a spare computer monitor and donated it to STEAM earlier this year. But I suppose if everybody thinks like that, it has an impact.
What was your favourite contribution and why?
The grants to the Centre from the Community Foundation through the Bushell Estate last year, totaling over $278,000 including a major gift to the STEAM Community Studio, have to top the list. It was a great experience working with Andrew Gunn and Jessica Gransaull on the way to delivering the grant.
What does the idea of STEAM Education mean to you?
It’s an innovative approach to teaching and learning coupled with some very practical work like the refurbishing and donating of computer equipment to people who can’t otherwise afford it. We also respect the integrity of the people involved at the Centre.
What made you decide to give your first donation?
In our case, it was part of our application process. In 2018, STEAM made a successful grant application to what we now call our Great-EST Needs Fund.
There are so many charities. Why should people in the community consider the STEAM Education Centre to donate to?
There’s the youth aspect which is important, the partnerships including the one with the Ignite Youth Centre, the innovation in a responsible manner, exciting programs, and, frankly, impressive staff people and Board Members. We are also fans of the Facebook group for non-profits Jessica has recently launched!
How do you think students benefit from our programs?
The hands-on aspect has always been important for students. Your commitment to inclusivity is second to none. And the areas STEAM is focusing on should really benefit students in their job searches later.
Why do you think it is important that people support community programs?
It’s as important for the person doing the supporting as it is for the person or program being supported. Want to feel better about yourself? Do something for someone else.
Learn more about the Elgin-St. Thomas Community Foundation at https://escf.ca/ and if you would like to support STEAM’s education initiatives click here to donate