The Youth Philanthropy Council (YPC), an initiative of the Community Foundation of the Central Blue Ridge, is pleased to announce the availability of at least $25,000 in competitive grant funding for organizations serving local youth in Staunton, Augusta County, and Waynesboro (SAW).
The Community Foundation established its YPC in 2008 in an effort to provide opportunities for local youth to gain leadership, consensus building, philanthropic, and decision-making skills, while making a difference for their peers in their communities.
The YPC program began with eight students. Today, it is comprised of 24 sophomores, juniors, and seniors from the public and private high schools in SAW. The objectives of YPC are to: (1) promote youth development and community leadership through experiences of philanthropy; (2) encourage and support local youth initiatives; and (3) engage youth and adults in partnership through giving and serving the community. Since its inception, the YPC for SAW has distributed $140,000 through 68 grants to organizations serving youth in the area.
The focus of this year’s YPC is to continue their development as philanthropic youth leaders through civic engagement and broaden their understanding of needs in the community, particularly as they relate to youth. During the last two months, the YPC worked on identifying issues affecting youth in their communities which helped them define their funding priorities for their 2018-2019 grants.
Specifically, the YPC is seeking to support organizations and/or programs that address youth health and the quality of their relationships. Through their grants, the YPC members wish to increase the accessibility and quality of mental and physical health services for youth, as well as to increase the accessibility and quality of programs that strengthen the relationships between youth and their peers, mentors, and other adults.
The YPC believes that all youth in the area have the right to lead healthy lives, both physically and mentally. They recognize:
- The importance of preventing and addressing health issues among youth with an emphasis on mental health.
- That the effects of peer pressure, bullying, abuse, neglect, and drugs can lead to mental health issues among youth.
- That the quality of youth relationships with peers and adults can significantly contribute to their overall health.
The YPC invites nonprofit organizations to complete a grant application, by January 10, 2019. Following a review of each application, the YPC will select the organizations to receive grants, which they will present in April.
Given the unique characteristics of the Highland County community, the Community Foundation also established a Highland County Youth Philanthropy Council in 2015. The have so far allocated a total of $25,000 to organizations supporting their community. They will present grants totaling $20,000 in the coming year to nonprofit organizations that either serve Highland County or are planning on expanding services into Highland County. The Highland YPC will announce the availability of funding in December.
The Community Foundation is grateful to Martin’s Foods for their continued generous support of its Youth Philanthropy Council initiative.