Making A Difference: Will Gilliland

Will and his peers at Moeller took our challenge to create a service project a step further and decided to not only impact their own community, but also the community of Santa Cruz, Peru through “Working With a Smile”.  Read all about their project here. We were able to catch up with Will and ask him a few questions about “Working For a Smile”. You can view their trip below:

What was your biggest take away from the Youth Leadership Seminar?

Will: My biggest take away from the seminar was just the inspiration of seeing other high school students become passionate about doing service work in the community. Seeing my peers come up with great ideas for service pushed me to come up with the most challenging service project possible. The speakers also inspired me to go out and make a difference in someone else’s life as so many have done to me in my own life.

What impact have you seen in your community and school from the Youth Leadership Seminar and from “Working for a Smile”?

Will: I saw a large impact from my school when we raised money through the penny wars because tons of people got involved and I was happy to see the support of my peers and my school. There was also large support from my school to try and win second place in the contest when students used social media to try and win. The Seminar was a great opportunity to raise awareness for service not just domestically but also internationally in my community and my school.

Would you recommend others go to the Youth Leadership Seminar?

Will: Yes, because it engages students in a subject that is talked about enough which is service to those in need. Whether it is bullying or the homeless there is always someone who needs help and with the great opportunities given to my peers and I by our parents and our schools we have the ability to help others. The Youth Leadership Seminar inspired me to take advantage of these opportunities and it led me to great success with my project.

You were the student leader for the Service Project Challenge.  How did “Working With a Smile” specifically impact your own life?

Will: It impacted my life by forming a sense of work ethic that I never thought I could have before. This project helped me reach my potential and the satisfaction I derived in seeing the respect from the villagers made it so worth it. It helped me form new relationships as well as reestablish old ones and also helped me form new ideals to live by.  This project has changed me as a person greatly and I will never forget the positive impact it had on my life and especially the people we helped.

Will and Moeller High School were able to make a difference in multiple communities. Check to see if your school is on the list for this year’s Youth Leadership Seminar so your students can make an impact like Will!

Kristin Shaffer
Experience Intern
#NTCincy15

Are You Sparked For Now Trending?

We are still buzzing about the success of last year’s Youth Leadership Seminar (YLS)! Spark exceeded expectations with 100 schools and over 1,300 students in attendance.  But we know this year will be even better (you can relive all of the excitement from last year below)!

This year’s speakers will discuss how leaders break trends, follow their own trends and how a trending idea can help form and empower a community.  Our desire is that students will leave encouraged and empowered to define their leadership skills and make a difference in our Tri-State communities.

YLS 2015 will feature:

  • 5-7 Powerful Speakers From Our Very Own Tri-State Area
  • A Delicious Lunch From Chick-fil-A
  • Jamming with KJ-52
  • Break Out Session for Service Challenge Projects

We want this year’s YLS to be bigger and better than ever! So far these schools have registered:

Amelia Batavia Cincinnati Country Day Colerain(2)

If your school is not on the list there is still time to sign up for YLS on our website and help redefine Now Trending!

Kristin Shaffer
Experience Intern
#NTCincy15

Meet the Interns

The Anthony Muñoz Foundation has some great events coming up and we as the new interns cannot wait to tell you all about them.  Some of the upcoming events we will be writing about on the blog are the Youth Leadership Seminar, Service Challenge Projects, and more. The two of us will be keeping you up to date on everything that’s happening here at AMF, but first we wanted to give you guys the chance to get to know us a little bit!

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Ilana Siegel: Events Intern

I attend the University of Cincinnati where I am a Junior Communications major, Marketing minor.  I grew up in Cleveland, OH all my life then moved to Greensboro, NC going into my Freshman year of college.  Ever since attending UC, I have fallen more in love with the city of Cincinnati and I can definitely call it a second home.

What about AMF most excites you?

I admire AMF’s dedication in providing opportunities for growth and success within the community.  I look forward to being a part of the process in helping make a difference in one’s life, this is something I have always been passionate for.

If you could meet any celebrity who would it be?

I am going to have to say Anna Kendrick (star of Pitch Perfect 1 and 2).  Her quirkiness, her attitude on life and just her personality as a whole is kind of myself in a nutshell.  We would get along very well!

What is the best thing about Cincinnati in 3 words?

Much to offer

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Kristin Shaffer: Experience Intern

 I am a senior Communications and English major at the University of Cincinnati. I definitely consider myself a Cincinnati enthusiast who loves the Reds, Bearcats and of course Graeter’s Ice Cream.

What about AMF most excites you?

I have worked for various non-profits, but since I am a Cincinnati native I am especially excited about working for the Anthony Muñoz Foundation.  The impact this foundation has made on the community is powerful and I look forward to being a part of it.

If you could meet any celebrity who would it be?

If I could meet any celebrity it would be Melissa McCarthy (she starred in Bridesmaids and the Heat).  She is hilarious and always has me laughing!  If I ever got to meet her I would probably be her new best friend because I would laugh at all of her jokes.

What is the best thing about Cincinnati in 3 words?

Strong Community Atmosphere

We are both excited to be working for AMF and getting to share our experience with you here on our blog! Be sure to stay up to date with everything that’s happening through our blog, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook!

“Where Are They Now” Wednesday: Matt Krabacher

Today we will be featuring Matt Krabacher, a 2014 Scholarship Fund recipient to see how his first semester of college has been.

About Matt

Matt is a graduate of Stephen T. Badin High School and is a current freshman at Xavier University. He is majoring in nursing and holds a 3.25 GPA after his first semester. Matt currently spends his free time staying active and participating in intramural basketball. He also helps with his local 4-H group when he is home and over the summer break. He also currently lives in the same residence hall wing as all the freshman Xavier basketball players.

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College Life

So far, Matt has enjoyed college. It has been a big change in his life, but he has found that Xavier is the best fit for him and he couldn’t ask for anything more, except for less homework. $20,000 has enabled him to pursue his dreams of a higher education; it has allowed him to focus his attention on school and not so much of the cost of tuition, for not only himself but his family as well, as his medical bills exhausted their college savings. This scholarship, along with Matt’s summer job, have allowed him to focus on school and transitioning into college.

Why You Should Apply

“Knowing that I have $20,000 towards college that I don’t have to worry about is a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. Knowing I have that money already towards school has allowed me to keep myself focused on my studies. I did not have to look for work right away this first semester and was able to make the adjustment to college my priority. I am driven towards success even more so because the Anthony Muñoz Foundation has shown their faith in me. I want to not only succeed for myself, but for them as well. Every semester, I am reminded of and appreciate the generosity of the Anthony Muñoz Foundation in receiving this gift. Furthermore, my advice to potential recipients is that you have already overcome adversity, so know you are able to work hard and now you have to support of the Anthony Muñoz Foundation to help you continue your success. This scholarship is a means for you to get a higher education.”

You can learn a bit more about Matt and the adversity he had to overcome by watching his acceptance speech here.


As Matt said, you have the chance to further your education and you can take that chance by filling out the application here. You can also share the opportunity with someone you know whose hard work deserves to be recognized!

Kaitlyn Fitzgerald

Events Intern

Scholarship Spotlight: DJ Davis

It’s time to catch up with a past Scholarship Fund recipient. This week we are featuring Dennis (DJ) Davis, a 2012 winner.

About DJ

DJ graduated from from Hillsboro High School in 2012. He is currently a junior at the University of Cincinnati majoring in Operations Management and holds a 3.68 GPA. Interestingly, he has family on three continents. As for his free time, when he is not tutoring for Whiz Kids, his main hobby is running. He is currently training for the Flying Pig Half Marathon.

College Life

DJ  said his college experience has been fun. He has made good friends, been to numerous sports games and even saw President Obama on campus. At first, it was a big adjustment, but has been a good experience and an opportunity for growth. blog graphic

Why You Should Apply

In DJ’s own words:

“The $20,000 scholarship has really been a blessing. Without it, I don’t know what I’d do. I didn’t have the resources to pay for college at the time, but earning the scholarship lets me breathe a lot easier. Not worrying about $20,000 in college expenses is very calming, so I can focus more on school and less on money. I remember getting the phone call from the Foundation and I think I might have exploded with excitement. To be able to go through so many hardships and still earn an opportunity to go to to college–I had never felt better. Earning my degree has always been a huge goal of mine and because of the scholarship, I get to achieve that goal next year. I can’t thank the Foundation enough for the help they’ve given me. If you’re thinking about applying, you should! The Foundation is great and so caring! I remember having my doubts about sending in my application, but I am so glad I did!”

Take DJ’s advice and apply today! The application can be found here. If you know someone who would be a great fit for the Scholarship Fund, you can also share this information with them. Kaitlyn Fitzgerald Events Intern

Aiken Students Stepping Up!

Getting the ball rolling for a Service Challenge Project is the first obstacle that many schools have to overcome; the next is sticking to the plan and adjusting it along the way. Aiken had major adjustments when issues arose due to factors out of the students control. Because of this the students knew what they had to do to make their “SPARK Sierra” project happen. “SPARK for Sierra” is aimed at raising funds to build a new school in Sierra Leone, Africa. With a goal to raise $4,400  Aiken came together, stepped up, took the initiative and follow through to be able to build this new school.

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The students realized that one fundraising event wouldn’t be enough to help them reach their goal. They got creative and decided on three major opportunities to help raise enough money for the new school in Africa. Events included:

  • “Change for Change”: where they coordinated, collected and counted the money throughout the month of November.
  • “Adopt a Door”: where the staff had to pick a specific piece of building to pay for the new school.
  • “Aiken 5K”: The last event that will be taking place is a 5K this Friday, March 27th. The walk-a-thon is a representation of how many miles the students would have to walk if the school isn’t built. They are asking $10 donations to sponsor a student in the walk-a-thon, you can donate here at: http://anticipatechange.com/rw/aiken-largo/.

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Thank you for inspiring our  communities to come together and make a difference Aiken! Be sure to check out our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! pages this Friday, March 27th as we visit Aiken and take part in their 5k. You can see all the projects that have taken place by looking up #AMFChallenge!

Shelbi Felblinger

Experience Intern

“Where Are They Now” Wednesday: Logan Frederick

Today we will be featuring Logan Frederick, a 2014 Scholarship Fund recipient. This is what we found out about Logan nearly a year after receiving her $20,000 scholarship:

About Logan

She was a 2014 Clinton-Massie High School graduate and is a current student at Wright State University studying nursing with a 3.3 GPA. When Logan is not studying hard, she enjoys spending time with her boyfriend, who is from England and who she met him a day after the Scholarship Dinner at the Christian summer camp they worked at together. She also enjoys reading the Divergent series, watching Grey’s Anatomy, running, listening to music, and hanging out with or talking to friends and loved ones.

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Logan with her brother and Anthony during the ceremony where she received her scholarship.

Why You Should Apply

This is what Logan had to say about the impact of the scholarship on her life:

“I am so blessed to be an award-winning recipient of the Anthony Muñoz Foundation Scholarship. The $20,000 scholarship has impacted me immensely and has given me a chance to further my education. My goal of being a nurse is now more attainable than if I hadn’t received the scholarship. At the moment, college is going very well and I enjoy working hard to reach my goals. It feels good knowing that there is $20,000 towards my school that I don’t have to worry about. It gives me a chance to focus on just school instead of worrying about school and finances. My advice to potential recipients is to keep working hard no matter what adversity you have to overcome. You should apply for this scholarship because you most certainly can win if you work hard to earn it!”

You can also learn more about Logan’s story here.


Take Logan’s advice and fill out the application here; there is nothing to lose! You can also share the opportunity with someone you know whose hard work deserves to be recognized!

Kaitlyn Fitzgerald

Events Intern