A REFLECTION

I don’t even know where to start. Enloe Charity Ball has raised over $1 million. In my four years alone, we will have raised over $700,000 for area nonprofits, money which has had a tangible impact on the Raleigh/Wake County community. We have helped address hunger, homelessness, inclusion, and poverty through not only monetary funds, but by bringing attention to the issues themselves and the systemic roots they stem from. The example of our direct impact which I am most proud of is our contribution to the construction of the Raleigh/Wake Partnership to End and Prevent Homelessness’s new Oak City Cares center. We were the largest private donor to the center, which provides a multitude of services and resources to Raleigh’s homeless population.

It’s easy to communicate the financial side of ECB, money talks in a universal language. But what I am most passionate about with our organization is our mission of making change through student leadership. Young people like myself are often the most in-touch with the deep-rooted issues that envelop their communities and are most passionate about enacting real change. As seen through our 15 years of existence, high school students are capable of leading a nonprofit organization and doing so quite effectively. It is this effort to inspire and develop the leaders of tomorrow that I am most proud of.

I have also been personally impacted by our direct service to our beneficiaries, as I have had the opportunity to volunteer for each of them. Last year’s Enloe Charity Ball helped fund the implementation of the Autism Society of NC’s IGNITE Program, which serves young adults with autism to allow them to be successful in the transition to adulthood. One night, some of us went over the IGNITE center to participate in a game night with the members. We bonded over Uno and Monopoly, telling jokes and sharing stories of our high school experiences. As the night went on, I came to realize that it was not just us, Enloe Charity Ball, helping others through service and leadership, but that those we were serving were also teaching us. They teach us about humanity and understanding, about perspective – ideas which become ever-important as we move on from high school and into the next chapter of our lives, and I am grateful for these learning experiences.

Though I graduate this year and move on from Enloe Charity Ball, I will forever be inspired by the values of leadership, creativity, and inclusivity that our organization promotes in order to inspire and impact our community.

Carter Wood
Vice President of Publicity 

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