Siblings Wyatt G. ’29 and Zadie G. ’32 are expected to not only save some of their allowance money, but they’re also tasked with picking a cause to donate a portion of it to. After an eye-opening experience, Wyatt decided that he wanted to support the Ethical Culture Fieldston School’s financial aid fund. We talked to him more about what inspired him to give, how his family instilled the value of generosity in him, and why he thinks it’s important to help others.
How do your parents encourage you to give back?
In our family, whenever my sister and I get money, like for a gift or our allowance, we have this idea of spending, saving, and giving it, so some of the money goes to other people. At Thanksgiving and at the end of the school year, we give the money away somewhere. This year my sister gave hers to an animal charity that supports koalas, but I’m more of a financial security person and I’m always trying to help others, so I gave mine to Fieldston.
What inspired you to give your money to support ECFS’s financial aid program?
There was a day when I realized that not everyone I knew had as much as other people do. I figured that it wasn’t just this one person, but probably a lot of other people who were struggling. It made me ask myself how I could help, because I want everyone to be secure in every single way, to be stable, have good friends, have a good life, and not really have that struggle here at School — that’s what Fieldston is about, trying to include as many people as we can. I want to share my experience at School with other people — the more the merrier. If I can help, that’s what I want to do, because you never really know what’s going on in someone’s life.
Where did your interest in philanthropy start?
Making sure that all my friends and other people’s friends are having a great time is important to me. In my family, we always have our eyes open and our ears open and we’re always trying to help other people. My mom is always looking for ways to make things better and if she sees something’s wrong, she wants to change it. That’s what I want to do, too. I want things to change and be more stable so that people from more communities and identities can come together, share ideas, and have a great time together. I actually go to a camp with the motto “other fellow first,” and that’s me — always trying to put other people in front of me and make sure they have the same opportunities that I have.
What would you say to your fellow Eagles about giving back?
If I can give the money that I’m lucky to have, I would love to give it to others. I hope this will inspire people to open their eyes and see other people’s experiences. If other kids joined in to give back and pass the baton to the next generation, Fieldson would be an even greater place.
If you would like to make a gift to ECFS, visit www.ecfs.org/support.