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March 15, 2012     Beverly Hills Weekly
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March 15, 2012
 

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c 00vers00ory The Weekly's interview with Generatmn Philanthropy President Dina Rezvanipour By Melanie Anderson What is Generation Philanthropy? Generation Philanthropy is a nonprofit org/mization based in Los Angeles. We bring young professionals together to [raise] aware- ness about different causes that are around our community and around the world. What inspired you to start this organization? My morn [D0nya Partow] has always been really big on helping others. I remember when I was five or six years old we would go feed the homeless together on Sundays. Growing up as part of the Girl Scouts in Beverly Hills, I was exposed to giving back and helping the less fortunate. I've always had a passion to help others and I've been involved with several other organizations throughout the years, Society of Young Philanthropists, a local organiza- tion in Beverly Hills, being one of_them. In May 2010 I decided to start Generation Philanthropy to create an outlet for young philanthropists to work together closely and raise awareness in our community and around the world. Our board members come from all sorts of professions. We have publicists, real estate brokers, accountants, entrepreneurs, editors. They all come from different back- grounds and they all believe in giving back. They all believe in making a difference in someone's life and have a passion to make a change. How did your fellow board members become involved? The first one being my brother [Vice President Dara Rezvanipour], he was also involved with Society of' Young Philanthropists. We were both on the board. We decided to, leave that organization and start something; on our own. He was a big help in making that happen. I sent out an e-mail to my friends and family and let them know I was starting an organization [to see] if they were interested in joining. Jhoanna [Flores] is someone I have worked with for years. She reached out immediately and said she wanted tobe on board. Jhoanna brought on Jessica McAlister and through word of mouth [fellow 2002 Beverly High graduate] Kathy Benjamin reached out and asked if she could help. We were friends [at Beverly High] but we weren't close friends. We obviously have become a lot closer now that she'sa part of Generation Philanthropy. David Damavandi is my brother's roommate so he wanted to be a part of it as well. Kalyn [Long] works for me at 3d Public Relations and Marketing, so I asked her if she wanted to be a part of it. Josh [Kaplan] and Anarid [Parikh] came trough Dara and Dave. What's it like working with your brother in this capacity? It's wonderful. We have a really great relationship out- side of Generation Philanthropy and that helps us work really well together on the board. He brings in a lot of the things I'm lacking. and vice versa. We balance each other. He's very calm and I'm more hyper and energetic. He calms me down and brings me back to reality. I'm more the creative per- son; he's more the numbers guy. He handles the finances. How does your PR background help with your charity work? I have built a really great network and great contacts over the years. When I decid- ed to start Generation Philanthropy, they were all very eager to help me, so when I need sponsors for food or a photographer or alcohol, I just go into my Rolodex and I have those contacts and they will oftentimes give it to me for free or at-cost. I had asked about great venues and locations for our event. One of our board members, Jhoanna Flores, [has] Boutique Nightclub, AGENCY [as] her client, so my board members bring a lot to the table as well. Each one brings something different to the team. We all complement each other. seeing] a project from start to finish and the feeling of accomplishment and knowing that we're going to be helping children in Guatemala get the proper education that they need and deserve." "Dina Rezvanipour Tell us about your PR work. I started my own company in January. It's called 3d Public Relations and Marketing. Before I started my own company, I had been in PR for eight years. I've done award shows from the Grammy's to the Oscars to fashion shows and celebrity charity events. I've worked with celebrities to musicians. You name it; I've worked with them. Last year, Generation Philanthropy supported a local organization called Chrysalis. Tell us about that. Chrysalis is a wonderful organization [dedicated to creating a pathway to self-suf- ficiency for homeless and low-income indi- viduals by providing the resources and sup- port needed to find and :retain employment]. They have helped h00okino ,Jrwa,',t to so many people and "[I'm  lkJ # llV  so many families get off the streets of Los Angeles We helped them and it was truly inspira- tional. Last April, we went in and did an interview semi- nar for them and we had about 25 people come. We were talking about, how the [job] interview process works and the proper way of doing an interview and the questions that they were asking and the excitement that they had in their eyes was so rewarding to all of our board members. What is Generation Philanthropy currently working on? [We're partnering with] Pencils of Promise, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organiza- tion. Their mission is to build schools in the developing world and train young leaders to take action at home and abroad. Adam Braun is the founder and he started it three years ago. His goal for 2012 is to build 100 schools. It's only March, and they've already built 50. In a short span of three years, he's been able to make a difference in so many people's lives. What inspired Braun to start Pencils of Promise? He went backpacking and came across a little boy in India. [Braun] asked [him] what he wanted most in the world and the boy said a pencil. Adam's future completely changed from that. He then decided to create Pencils of Promise. Over the years he backpacked through more than 50 countries and was handing out thousands of pens and pencils. How did you decide to partner with Pencils of Promise? In November of 2011 I went to the third annual gala of Pencils of Promise and was so touched by Adam's story and all that he's accomplished in just a short amount of time. His passionand drive is really what made me want to devote Generation Philanthropy's following year to Pencils of Promise. What's Generation Philanthropy's goal for working with Pencils of Promise? Our goal is to [raise $25,000] to build a school with the Charity Poker Tournament event on March 27. We want to build a school in Guatemala. By the end of the year we'd like to build another school to help them get to their goal of 100 schools. Tell us about the upcoming charity poker tournament. We are going to be hosting it at Boutique Nightclub, AGENCY on Tues., March 27 from 7 to 10 p.m. At 7:30 the poker tourna- ment begins and it will go until about 10 p.m. Guests are welcome to stay afterwards to hang out at AGENCY. Tuesday night is their Industry Night.-They are opening their doors to all of our guests for the rest of the night to party hopefully in celebration of us raising $25,000. What if you don't play poker? If you don't play poker, we have other activities that are going to be going on tliroughout the evening and you can come support your friends who do play poker. What are yon looking forward to most about traveling this summer to Guatemala with your board? I think being able to see a project from start to finish and the feeling of accomplish- ment and knowing that we're going to be helping children in [Boca Costa in south- western] Guatemala get the proper education that they need and deserve. I'm very excited about going out there. What's your long-term goal for Generation Philanthropy? I envision Generation Philanthropy to have several chapters around the United States in the next five years and having young philan- thropists running them, people in their 20s and early 30s wanting to make a difference. To purchase tickets or for more informa- tion about Generation Philanthropy, visit www'GeneratinPhilanthrpy'rg or call (310) 780-8416. Page 8 Beverly Hills Weekly