The Community Foundation of the Central Blue Ridge is pleased to announce their Youth Philanthropy Council’s (YPC) decision to award $25,000 in competitive grants to nine nonprofit organizations serving local youth in Staunton, Waynesboro, and Augusta County.
The Community Foundation created its YPC in 2008 to promote youth development and community leadership through experiences of philanthropy and community service. The YPC is presently comprised of 24 sophomores, juniors, and seniors representing each of the local public and private high schools in Staunton, Waynesboro, and Augusta County.
The YPC began working together in the Fall of 2018. Informed in part by the 2018 Youth Needs Assessment, the YPC first concluded that youth in our area have the right to lead healthy lives, both physically and mentally. In doing so, they recognized:
- 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.
From this recognition, the YPC determined that they would prioritize their 2019 grants to support:
- Mental and physical health services and programs for youth.
- Programs that address issues related to the relationships between youth and their peers, mentors, and other adults.
The YPC then designed a means for nonprofit organizations to submit grant applications, as well as the criteria to evaluate those applications. Each YPC member independently reviewed and evaluated each of the 24 applications submitted. They worked together to finally arrive at a consensus about which organizations to support and how best to allocate $25,000 in available funds between them.
This year’s grant recipients are:
- Bike Box of the Central Blue Ridge
- Blue Ridge CASA for Children
- Boys and Girls Club of Waynesboro, Staunton, and Augusta County
- Elk Hill Farm
- New Directions Center
- Valley Children’s Advocacy Center
- Valley Hope Counseling Center
- Waynesboro Area Refuge Ministry
The YPC will present their grants to these organizations during a public ceremony, hosted by The Legacy at North Augusta in Staunton (1410 N. Augusta Street), on Monday, April 15th at 7:00 p.m. Members of the community are welcome to attend. RSVPs may be given to the Community Foundation at 213-2150 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cristina Casado, the Foundation’s Director of Community Engagement oversees the YPC. She stated that the students have complete ownership over the YPC; the process, from beginning to end, is entirely up to them. “It is remarkable how the students are able to connect issues affecting youth, such as mental health, to root causes. Through the YPC, we hope to provide them the opportunity to address these concerns affecting their peers while learning about philanthropy, service, and community engagement”.
Since 2008, the YPC has granted a total of $160,000 to local nonprofit organizations serving youth. Throughout those years, the youth participating in the YPC have consistently recognized the importance of ensuring that their peers have access to programs and services that support their mental health.
The Foundation is thankful to The Legacy at North Augusta and Martin’s Food Store for their continued generous support of our Youth Philanthropy Council.