Youth Philanthropy Council Awards $10,000 to Local Non-Profits Who Serve Area Teens
The Youth Philanthropy Council of the Community Foundation of the Central Blue Ridge announces $10,000 in competitive grants to agencies serving our community youth. Members of the Youth Philanthropy Council will present the grants at an awards reception at 5:30pm on May 8th at the P. Buckley Moss Museum.
The Youth Philanthropy Council (YPC) was established in the fall of 2008 after it was noted that 63% of The Community Foundation’s annual competitive grants were awarded to youth programs. The Community Foundation identified a unique opportunity to promote youth development and leadership by broadening experiences in philanthropy. “There is no one better to determine the needs of youth in our community, and the most successful solutions, than the youth themselves,” noted Christiana Shields, Director of Non-Profit Services for the Foundation and advisor to the YPC.
Now in its fourth year, the YPC is currently comprised of two or three students from each public high school in the cities of Staunton, Waynesboro, and Augusta County, who are selected annually by the principal or guidance counselor. The nomination and selection process identifies students in 10th and/or 11th grades, who will serve a two to three year term for consistency and leadership development. Members of the YPC must demonstrate a motivation to serve, leadership potential, a willingness to learn, and strive to be of good character in order to serve as a role model for the youth in our community. The goals of the YPC are to: promote youth development and empowerment through experiences of philanthropy; encourage and support community initiatives about which youth care; and engage youth and adults in partnership through giving and serving for the common good. The Foundation’s Board has appropriated $10,000 in grant making funds to the YPC each year. The YPC uses these funds to support area non-profit programs that affect teens. In the past four years, their funding has improved the lives of over 1,000 teens, not including the seventeen council members who admit that their perspective on their community has been transformed. Allie Casto, a student at Riverheads High School, noted, “YPC has helped me realize the broad need in our community and inspired me to pursue philanthropy in the future.”
A needs assessment was conducted by participants amongst their peers who identified critical community needs in the areas of teen sexuality and teen pregnancy; career planning / job development / employment programs; stress / peer-pressure / depression / isolation / apathy; and programs that address transportation. Sessions were held on leadership and decision-making skills, key grant components, and processes to evaluate grant proposals. Applications were reviewed and debated, and final recommendations were presented to the Board of Directors of the Community Foundation.
“YPC has undoubtedly helped me grow not only as a community member, a leader, and a high school student, but as an individual. The YPC experience has opened so many doors for me these past two years, and I can honestly say that no other extra-curricular activity has been as valuable to me. I am very grateful to have been given the opportunity to serve our community as a YPC member,” comments Sarah Kate Gottschalk, a senior at Waynesboro High School, and three-year veteran of the YPC.
The Youth Philanthropy Council is proud to announce the following grant awards for 2012:
Casa for Children – Funding to train and support 12 volunteer advocates to pursue expedited placement of 15 youth (13-18) into safe, permanent, and nurturing homes, so they remain in foster care. This, in turn, will provide a support system to encourage these teens to stay in school, graduate from high school, and pursue higher education at a much higher rate.
Shenandoah Valley Community Services (Office on Youth) – A grant to provide new computers for expansion of on-line learning opportunities for students who have expelled or suspended from school. This will lead to more students returning to school and passing their GEDs.
Valley Hope Counseling Services – The Valley Hope Counseling Center will provide low-fee adolescent counseling services. Participants will work with a counselor for guidance on managing stress, developing effective coping strategies, and making well informed decisions about a healthy future.
The Community Foundation of the Central Blue Ridge enriches quality of life by responding to needs and inspiring philanthropy in our community. The Foundation serves the communities of Staunton and Waynesboro, as well as Augusta, Nelson and Highland counties. As one of the largest philanthropic institutions in the Central Blue Ridge, the Foundation is committed to careful stewardship of and thoughtful investment in our region’s future. Unlike other non-profit organizations, the Community Foundation is endowed in perpetuity. The Foundation is best known for providing grants and scholarships in the community, the annual Dawbarn Education Awards, and the Youth Philanthropy Council.