[First Philanthropy Fridays] Meet Young Black Philanthropist: Candice S. Cook

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A life of perfection is impossible, but a life of purpose is our destiny- Candice

How old are you? 33

Where do you live? New York, NY

What is your personal mission?
My personal mission is to leave a legacy that inspires individuals to live a life of meaning, purpose, adventure, risk, faith, integrity, and courage. I want to live my life with purpose so that others see the possibility of a life of passion and meaning. I believe that the the choices that we make throughout our lives either work to further those goals or to destroy them. I want others to be encouraged to live their best lives as well (all while contributing to our society as a whole and not on an individual path). A life of perfection is impossible, but a life of purpose is our destiny.

What has been one highlight of your giving career?
As a young philanthropist, I am very proud to have assisted in raising over $100k for DSC_1333 blk&whtthe charities that I have worked with during my time in New York City. I am also proud to have contributed to fundraising goals of over millions of dollars as a member of Young Patron Boards across the United States. In addition to having had success as a fundraiser, I also recognize the benefit and need of traditional engagement and have worked to secure new members for philanthropic organizations who are passionate about civic involvement so that the pipeline of talent does not consist of the same familiar players, but rather reaches a diverse sector of individuals who are eager to be involved in philanthropic activity.

Philanthropy within the black community also can provide a more holistic view of the world and the needs of our neighbors from education to healthcare.

Why does philanthropy in the black community matter to you?
Philanthropy is critical because it allows the work that needs to be done within communities to get done by providing resources to those individuals truly doing the heavy lifting in society. Philanthropy within the black community also can provide a more holistic view of the world and the needs of our neighbors from education to healthcare. It provides us with the reminder that our blessings are just that–blessings–and they are meant to be shared to serve as inspiration, bridges, and guideposts.

As we progress and matriculate throughout our careers there is a duty to make certain that we pay it forward. Philanthropy forces us to move away from selfishness and the desire to look out for strictly our own best interest and allows us to appreciate and serve the needs of others. It is through service to others that we are able to evolve into our best selves and give our best to humanity. Those of us in our 20’s and 30’s, are the beneficiaries of a lot of struggle, sacrifice, and prayer. Members of the black community do not have the luxury to forget to reach back. The only time we should be looking down at someone is when we are reaching down to pull them up.

What organizations are you a part of?
Judge in the preliminary round of New York University National Public Policy Forum Debate Contest (2008 & 2009); Host Committee for EMERGE LLC exchange at Alvin Ailey to benefit Housing Works (2010); United Way of New York Young Leadership Council Executive Committee Advisory Board (2010-2012); Host Committee for Grace International Haiti Tent Camp Fundraiser (2011); Served on the Host Committee for The Barbados Food, Wine, & Rum Festival with the Barbados Tourism Organization (2011); Chair of Young Patron’s Executive Committee for the History Makers National Digital Archive (2010-Present); Apollo Theater Young Patron’s Committee (Steering Committee Leader)(Honored Stevie Wonder and helped raise $1.2 million for the Apollo)(2011-Present); Council of Urban Professionals Young Leadership Board (2011-2012); New York Needs You Young Leadership Board (2011-Present) (Raised $100k in one evening to support the student fellows via the success of the Spring Fundraiser) & New York Restoration Project Young Bud’s Member; Education Through Music Volunteer; Uganda Children’s Charity Foundation Volunteer; Vanderbilt University Law School Gift Donor; Walter N. Ridley Scholarship Fund Supporter.

Keep up with Candice on Twitter: @CandiceSC1 | Read her blog: OverAintEasy

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