Teens with Vision

Young people have a unique penchant for asking questions, learning, being flexible, and caring about the world around them. These qualities, Juliana Rodriquez claims, make for an excellent philanthropist. Rodriguez, a teen philanthropist herself, argues that Jewish philanthropic organizations and foundations can be more effective by including youth on their boards. Such inclusion, Rodriguez asserts, requires a shift in thinking about teens as not only a part of the Jewish future, but as vital contributors to the Jewish present.

Juliana Rodriguez hails from just outside of Denver, CO, in between skyscrapers and farms, where her family’s Thanksgiving dinners include both challah and tamales. She was raised to “choose curiosity over certainty,” and loves learning everything from physics to Virginia Woolf to the history of education reform. When not paying her dues as a high school senior at Colorado Academy or state senate campaign intern, Rodriquez grapples with ideas of privilege, community, and philanthropy. During high school, Rodriguez has served as a co-chair of Rose Youth Foundation, a representative to the Colorado Youth Advisory Council, a Lieutenant Governor of Key Club, and as a member of Building Bridges for Peace. She hopes someday to work in developmental economics, law, or policy with the understanding that “a lot of thought and science goes into making a more equitable world.”

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