“Growing up, my parents donated money and we did some volunteering time to time. My parents emphasized that we didn’t have an inherited, inherent right to be successful just because we were lucky and went to good schools and had a nice home,” she said.
It was through a book she read last year in her language class titled “Scratch Beginnings” that opened her eyes to homelessness. The counseling department sent out information/applications this past fall for the hands-on Scholars in Service program.
“I knew that Covenant House existed, but didn’t know exactly what their mission was,” Wolfe said.
She learned that their target is the homelessness – ages 18-24. “They provide support needed to leave the streets and achieve independence,” said Wolfe.
Statistics from their website show that there are 3,300 homeless youth on any given night. Forty percent identify as LGBT and 72 percent have been victims or or witnessed violence.
“During this program, the one thing sticks out in my mind was that I met so many abusedand amazing kids. So arbitrary. All of these kids were so nice, eloquent and articulate. I was lucky. I was born into a great situation. …
It wasn’t their fault they’re homeless. It’s rarely due to laziness,” she said.
After high school and college she wants to attend. law school. Her ultimate dream is to attend Georgetown and work in the human rights field. Interested in history and her father, an attorney, the path seemed natural to her.
“I’ve learned homelessness is right near your home. … The number is epidemic. It’s shocking. They’re my age. They could be my friends. Homelessness is filtered to us … People live in a bubble,” said Wolfe.
She has raised about $14,500. While the deadline for the scholarship has ended, money can still be donated until February 15.
“This program includes a joint scholarship - one to the student who raised the highest funds and the other to the Covenant House youth who the students voted on. We read essays from the youth who applied for this scholarship, and it made me think about education inequality and the way a great education gives people a leg up,” said Wolfe.
“I’ve learned that philanthropy is a lot more personal. It’s about making connections and raising awareness.”
To donate, Instagram Maggie.wolfe (link in biography) or covenanthousediy.org.
For more information, www.covenanthouse.org.