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Patrick Klein | The iBELIEVE Fund


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Patrick Klein
The iBELIEVE Fund

Because of my work with FAO, I can positively change the future of many Appalachian youth by providing them life-changing opportunities.
– Patrick Klein, Donor Advisor

Patrick Klein remembered what the Ohio Association of Student Councils’ (OASC) summer leadership camp did for him and wanted to make sure other Appalachian Ohio students were able to participate in the same life-changing experience so he created a field of interest fund with the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio in 2011. The iBELIEVE in Student Leadership Fund supports Patrick’s iBELIEVE Foundation’s mission to provide leadership, communication, and problem solving skills to Appalachian youth so they can become successful future leaders in their schools and most importantly their communities. Patrick has already raised over $100,000 in two years to send over 140 students to the OASC summer camp.

Patrick recently shared his thoughts on philanthropy, FAO, and being a child of Appalachia with us.

Q: What are your ties to Appalachian Ohio?
A: I grew up in Belpre, Ohio. I love the people in my community. They are hardworking, passionate, and loving people. They always gave me a tremendous amount of support. To this day, I get emails, texts, and phone calls from people in southeastern Ohio supporting my endeavors.

Q: Where did your interest in giving back start?
A: It started with my parents. They showed me the value in supporting others through their actions. When I came back to Ohio to coach at Ohio State, I knew deep down that I wanted to do something to support this region. Growing up in Belpre and going to college, I realized that I was at a disadvantage because of the lack of AP courses, electives, and extra-curricular activities that were offered to me. Deep down, I wanted to change that.

Q: What does the word “philanthropy” mean to you?
A: To me philanthropy is understanding that this world is bigger than yourself – that there were people before you that worked hard to give you your opportunities. Philanthropy is about doing your part to pay that forward and make a positive impact. It doesn’t matter how old you are or how many people you affect – it’s about changing one person’s life. If you can do that – you’ve made this world a better place.

Q: How did you decide to work with FAO to fulfill iBELIEVE’s mission?
A: I am a huge nerd. I did an extensive amount of research about organizations in the Appalachian region. FAO’s commitment not only to community funds, but also to students was evident. When Cara Dingus Brook (FAO’s president and CEO) and I met, I saw the passion she has for the region. I knew then that FAO supports students and agreed that the skills iBELIEVE is teaching are important for our student’s futures. iBELIEVE is about opportunity and that is exactly what FAO is fighting for on a daily basis. FAO could help me change Appalachian Ohio for the better.

Q: What does being a child of Appalachia mean to you?
A: Being a child of Appalachia means that I grew up in a strong community, full of hardworking individuals, and I am forever supported.

Visit the iBELIEVE Foundation website to learn more about their efforts.

Make an online donation through Network for Good, designating the iBELIEVE Fund or contact the Foundation for more information at 740.753.1111.