A Lemon Grove teenager was recognized as an outstanding youth volunteer by the San Diego Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals in conjunction with National Philanthropy Day.
Marquis Snowden, 15, was nominated for the honor by the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation. Snowden has been a leader in fundraising to benefit his schoolmates since he was a fourth grader at Golden Avenue Elementary School, where he organized an effort to purchase a climbing wall for the playground. Through sales of lemonade, fruit and healthy snacks, students raised more than $1,100 to pay for the wall.
Budget cuts to funding for 6th grade camp motivated Snowden to appeal to the school board to change its decision, and in 7th grade he created the Palm Middle School Adventure Club to raise money to fund a class camp.
Not only did he raise $500, but over the summer break he started a “Change for Change” campaign with a goal of raising $5,000 for the camp. Snowden collected bottles and cans for recycling, and also set up a recycling center in the break room at the Jacobs Center. Then he put on a series of small fundraising events.
Snowden’s efforts finally paid off—but not in the form of a class camp. Instead, the 8th grade class made a trip to Washington, D.C., with help from the money raised.
Snowden is in the 9th grade at Helix Charter High School. He was among a group of community philanthropists, service organizations and volunteer leaders honored Thursday at the National Philanthropy Day Awards Luncheon, presented by The San Diego Foundation.