A Gift to Make a Difference: 13-year-old uses birthday to raise funds for aging research at Penn

If you were to ask teenagers today what they’d like as a birthday present, most would probably say the latest iPhone, video game, or fashion trend, but that’s not the case with 13-year-old Hannah Jin. While planning her birthday celebration this past August, Hannah decided she wanted to try something different this year — instead of receiving gifts, she wanted to give.

Hannah nixed her plans for a birthday party and started planning her “giving” party. In lieu of presents, Hannah requested her guests consider making a donation to one of two particular causes — a local food bank and Penn’s 5K for the IOA. Penn’s 5K for the IOA & The Memory Mile Walk is an annual Penn Medicine event which raises funds for Alzheimer’s and aging-related research and care at the Institute on Aging. Having a personal connection to this cause — a grandfather with memory loss and a mother who works in ADRD* research here at Penn — Hannah was excited to contribute. With the help of family and friends, Hannah raised a total of $100 for the 5K.

To some, that may not seem like much, but at a time when the cost of caring for Alzheimer’s patients is over $200 billion and the amount of federal funding is low, every dollar counts. Moreover, it is refreshing to see the younger generation showing concern and interest in aiding in the fight against such diseases.

Hannah encourages others her age to consider “giving” parties as well. Not only is it “a lot of fun,” but it is also rewarding to help make a difference and see others’ willingness to “do good,” she said.

To make a gift to Penn’s Institute on Aging, visit our Giving page,

or contact: Elizabeth Yannes, Penn Medicine Development
elyannes@upenn.edu  or  215-573-4961

* Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders


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