Thrilling Thursday: TPF Study Away 2022

Thrilling Thursday: TPF Study Away 2022

Posted on April 15, 2022 by Emma Rota-Autry, 2022 Study Away

Editor's Note: The Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and The Patterson Foundation partnered on "The Future of the Philanthropic Sector," a special topics course for the school's students during the spring 2022 semester. The course connects students to The Patterson Foundation's innovative approach to philanthropy and nonprofits in the Sarasota area engaged in the foundation's initiatives.


Happy Thrilling Thursday from sunny Sarasota! At seven-thirty am, my classmates and I began our busy day gathered downstairs on the 8th floor for a complimentary breakfast buffet. Since we only had twenty-five minutes to eat, I scarfed down my sausage links, egg casserole, and muffin as I made my way to The Patterson Foundation (TPF) building. As we arrived at the TPF building, my classmates and I were divided into our initiative groups so that we could work diligently on our small team projects.

I met my small team in the large conference room for a one-hour weekly team meeting, followed by ample time to work on my presentation with my partner, which was due the following day. After settling down, my partner, Jumaanah, and my team leaders, Cheri Coryea and Kiarra Louis, led us into a team meeting focused on Jumaanah and my time in DeSoto County, Florida. Jumaanah and I shared our observations with the Digital Access for All team which provided them with helpful feedback and knowledge.

After speaking to the team about this issue and many others, Jumaanah and I were given work time for our presentation that was due the next day. She and I brainstormed five recommendations for the Arcadia Housing Authority to leverage its existing resources to strengthen its community outcomes.

At 11 o’clock am, we joined our classmates for our next activity of the day, participating in a Giving Challenge Panel Discussion Luncheon.

Here, my classmates and I had the opportunity to not only learn more about the Giving Challenge but also give feedback to local nonprofit leaders about their Giving Challenge efforts needed to help strengthen their campaign. Hearing from local Sarasota nonprofit leaders truly warmed my heart since I was able to see their passion and love for not only their organization’s mission but also the Giving Challenge.

Around 1 o’clock, we returned to the hotel to rest, followed by visiting Patriot Plaza, a 2,800-seat ceremonial amphitheater at Sarasota National Ceremony. Here, my classmates and I were able to learn about the history behind Patriot Plaza, along with other interesting facts and features.

This was a heart-warming experience that I will remember and tell others about in the years to come. At five-fifteen, we departed Patriot Plaza and headed towards Stottlemyer’s Smokehouse. Since it was Saint Patrick’s Day, the restaurant was busy and had a band playing on this thrilling Thursday.

As the food took a while, we chatted and decided to move our way to the dance floor for a quick song or two. Our food arrived and made its way to our stomachs. We ate some of America’s favorites, including cornbread, mashed potatoes, pulled pork, green beans, mac and cheese, and so much more, allowing us to return to the hotel with a full stomach needed to sleep for our small team presentations the following day.

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