It is fair to say that education and philanthropy are intimately linked. In fact, many people like to use the power and privilege that their education and success have provided them to give back to the communities they are from.
Renowned Miami litigator Kendall Coffey is a great example. Coffey teaches at law at the University of Miami in addition to his career as co-founder and partner in law firm Coffey-Burlington. Many other well known legal minds also teach and give back in other ways, like Maya Steinitz at the University of Iowa and Alan M. Dershowitz of Harvard Law School.
Professional athletes give their time, energy, and money as well. Take basketball superstar LeBron James for example: through The LeBron James Family Foundation, a charity that the star created to help those in the Akron area, James recently announced that he will offer more than 1,000 full-ride scholarships at the University of Akron to kids in his I Promise program.
I can hear you saying: “but what if I’m not a professional athlete, celebrity, or fancypants lawyer? How can a regular Joe or Jane like me use my education to help my community out?” Good question!
There are many ways for anyone to use their education for good that don’t require a great deal of money, fame, or expertise. Here are a few:
- Tutoring: Do you have a good deal of experiences with STEM subjects or the humanities? If so, you can use that experience to help local students who are struggling in these subjects by becoming a tutor.
- Field trips: Your local teachers always need help organizing and facilitating field trips for their classes. At a simple level, you can volunteer to help chaperone a class on a field trip. However, another more helpful way to contribute to this process is to recommend a field trip idea and use your expertise to teach classes something about your subject of interest.
- Nonprofits: If you know where to look, you can find a lot of nonprofits in your area that are looking for volunteers. Look for a nonprofit whose mission matches your passion, and you’re sure to have a great time while helping your community out!
- Community radio/podcast: Do you have thoughts that you just need to get out there? Is there something you think you could teach others? Or do you just feel like creating something silly and/or entertaining? If any of these ideas resonate with you, you might consider producing a simple community radio show or podcast.
What do you think about using education to give back to your community? Do you do this, and if so, how? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!