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Business News/ Brand Stories / Griffin Kapelus Shares How His Family History Shapes His Passion for Positive Impact
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Griffin Kapelus Shares How His Family History Shapes His Passion for Positive Impact

Griffin's family history is also marked by a dedication to making a difference in the world

The story of Griffin Kapelus and his family history highlights the importance of making a positive impact on societyPremium
The story of Griffin Kapelus and his family history highlights the importance of making a positive impact on society

Griffin Kapelus has a passion for making a difference in the world around him. Born and raised in New York City, Griffin was inspired by his mother's work at a nonprofit community center to get involved in social issues from a young age. He pursued his interest in urban issues and inequality through his studies at the University of Vermont, where he began volunteering at an organization called Feeding Chittenden that tackled food insecurity in Chittenden County, Vermont.

Griffin also worked at a homeless shelter in Burlington, Vermont, which allowed him to interact with the homeless population in a more significant way than he ever could as a volunteer. This experience brought him a deeper and more nuanced perspective on related social issues than he could get in a classroom or as a volunteer. Today, Griffin continues to volunteer regularly and works at a homeless shelter in Vermont.

Griffin's family history is also marked by a dedication to making a difference in the world. His grandparents on both sides of the family were deeply involved in activism and volunteer work, particularly around political issues and social justice.

On his father's side, Griffin's grandfather Milton Kapelus was born in Benoni, South Africa, in 1937. He studied marketing at Rhodes University and was a soccer goalkeeper while in college. After graduation, he met Griffin's grandmother, Denyse Levitt, who was a school teacher. In 1963, when Griffin's father was a few months old, Milton and Denyse moved to Cape Town, South Africa. Milton built his career in advertising and eventually became the Managing Director of Leo Burnett's Cape Town office. Denyse began her career as a nursery school teacher and was promoted to head teacher, and eventually to the Director of the Jewish nursery schools in Cape Town, where she oversaw 14 schools.

The family spent their time enjoying the beautiful nature of Cape Town, including the beaches, game parks, and weather. They had close family friends who all spent time together. Outside of work, both Milton and Denyse were very active in supporting the Progressive Party, a political organization that was opposed to the Apartheid policies of South Africa. They worked as volunteers on political campaigns, seeking to effect changes in South Africa's discriminatory political structure. In 1979, they made a significant decision to emigrate from South Africa due to the tenuous nature of the political situation and their decision to not allow their two boys to join the South African army. They emigrated to the suburbs of New York where they began their new life.

Milton became an advertising executive at McCaffrey and McCall, a mid-sized advertising agency in New York City. Denyse began teaching in nursery schools in Westchester, and in the early 1980s opened Professional Nannies Institute, an agency that placed highly qualified nannies with New York City families. Denise ran that business successfully for 25 years. Until 2009, Denyse and Milton lived in Westchester County, New York. In 2009, they moved to the Upper West Side of Manhattan where Milton and Denyse continued their work in advertising and in the nanny agency, respectively. They enjoyed their retirement years volunteering and enjoying their Riverside Park location.

On his father's side, Griffin's great-grandparents were Louis and Dorothy Kapelus. Dorothy was born in South Africa in the early 1900s and grew up near Johannesburg. Her husband, Louis, emigrated from Russia in the 1910s to South Africa and settled in Benoni, a small town near Johannesburg. Louis was an enterprising and hard-working person who supported his three brothers through school so that they could get their university educations. He built a motor vehicle repair business in Benoni that was very successful, and with Dorothy, he raised a family that valued education and community involvement. Louis and Dorothy were also deeply involved in their community, particularly through their work with the Jewish community and charitable organizations.

The story of Griffin Kapelus and his family history highlights the importance of making a positive impact on society and the world around us. From his mother's work at a nonprofit community center in Manhattan, to his own volunteer work and career in social work, Griffin has been inspired to make a difference wherever he can. Meanwhile, his family history showcases the values of hard work, community involvement, and political activism that have been passed down through the generations. From Louis and Dorothy Kapelus' successful business and civic leadership in South Africa, to Joseph and Lillian Levitt's commitment to family and community, each generation has made its own unique contributions to society. Ultimately, Griffin's story and his family history remind us that we all have the power to create positive change in the world, no matter where we come from or what our backgrounds may be.

Disclaimer: This article is a paid publication and does not have journalistic/editorial involvement of Hindustan Times. Hindustan Times does not endorse/subscribe to the content(s) of the article/advertisement and/or view(s) expressed herein. Hindustan Times shall not in any manner, be responsible and/or liable in any manner whatsoever for all that is stated in the article and/or also with regard to the view(s), opinion(s), announcement(s), declaration(s), affirmation(s) etc., stated/featured in the same.

 

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Published: 09 Mar 2023, 06:09 PM IST
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