As the Community Foundation of the Central Blue Ridge celebrates the 10th anniversary of its Youth Philanthropy Council (YPC), it is pleased to announce the availability of $25,000 in competitive grant funding for organizations serving local youth in Staunton, Augusta County, and Waynesboro (S.A.W.).
The Community Foundation, celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, 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 8 students in 2008. Today, YPC is comprised of 22 high school sophomores, juniors and seniors from the public and private high schools in S.A.W. 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 our communities.
Since its inception, YPC has distributed $115,000 through 39 grants to 17 different organizations. Given the unique characteristics of the Highland County community, the Community Foundation also provided funds for the establishment of a Highland County Youth Philanthropy Council in 2015. This year those students will award $10,000 in grants 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 focus of this year’s YPC meetings is to dive deeper into their development as philanthropic youth leaders and broaden their understanding of needs in the community. As part of that process, they invited community leaders to participate on a Panel on Youth: Issues Affecting Youth in Our Communities for their October meeting. Engaging with panelists Sergeant Brian Edwards, Waynesboro Police Department; Michael Neilson, Juvenile Probation/Parole Officer; and Professor of Sociology at Mary Baldwin University, Mary Clay Thomas, allowed them to strategically define the priority for their 2017-2018 grants.
Specifically, YPC aims to direct their grants to programs that benefit local youth and their support systems. This includes, but is not limited to, adult and peer mentoring programs, structured out-of-school programs, mental and physical counseling services, family intervention and parenting skills support, and legal advocacy.
In November, YPC invited Kelly Burdich, Director of Development at the American Shakespeare Center, to review their grant application and guide the students on how to ask questions in ways that will give them the information they need to evaluate each application and make effective grant decisions.
To aid them in their evaluation and decision-making process, YPC has asked Rick Moyers, a local consultant and former Vice President for Programs and Communications at the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation in Washington, D.C., to speak about his experience in grant-making and how they could, individually and as a group, effectively evaluate grants that address their priority.
YPC members will review each completed application and select finalists for interviews. Executive Directors and other leaders from those nonprofits will meet with YPC and answer questions regarding their grant application. Finally, in March 2018, YPC will select the grant recipients and determine how best to allocate $25,000.
The Youth Philanthropy Council is looking forward to receiving grant applications, which can be found on the Community Foundation’s website (www.cfcbr.org), through January 5, 2018.