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Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Students take “philanthropist” driver’s seat, steering $50,000 to charity

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Students representing almost every high school in the state have been busy this year learning about the good works of Delaware nonprofits and how they, as youngsters, can make a difference.
 
Dozens of students participated in a program run by the Delaware Community Foundation (DCF) to develop their skills as young philanthropists. Their year-long program as Youth Philanthropy Board members concluded this week with $50,000 in donations the students made to 19 nonprofits across all three counties.
 
The Youth Philanthropy Board (YPB) members started their work last September when they began learning about all the different ways nonprofits support their communities. They delved into important issues such as food security, substance abuse and violence, veterans affairs and lack of opportunities for young people.
 
Students also made site visits to nonprofit organizations and learned first-hand about who they serve, their mission, and obstacles they face with limited resources.
 
Using that knowledge and experience, the students awarded grants to nonprofits they determined to be most deserving.
 
Each board of high school students was allotted a pool of money to give as charitable grants. Youth Philanthropy Board members then decided which organizations they wanted to support this year.
 
Jessica Smith, from Cab Calloway School of the Arts, has been an active participant for the past two years. “I really appreciate how we attempt to help solve some of the most critical issues in our state and reduce the ever-present opportunity gap.”
 
Each year the DCF provides the students a budget of $15,000 to award to New Castle County nonprofits plus a $10,000 budget each for Kent and Sussex.
 
This year, each board had an additional $5,000 to award to nonprofit organizations thanks to the generosity of Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester, founder of the GLOW Fund, a donor advised fund at the DCF.
 
New Castle County YPB focused on post-secondary readiness and/or mentoring programs that serve teens and young adults in New Castle County, with special consideration for initiatives that build leadership opportunities, address specific challenges (including homelessness, substance abuse or violence), or target traditionally underserved populations (including low-income and immigrant youth).
 
$1,250 – Jewish Family Services
$2,500 – Leading Youth Through Empowerment (LYTE)
$2,500 – Survivors of Abuse in Recovery (SOAR)
$2,500 – The Delaware Contemporary
$2,500 – Delaware Youth Leadership Network
$3,125 – Catholic Charities
$3,125 – YWCA of Delaware
$2,500 – Delaware College Scholars
 
Sussex County YPB chose to focus on nonprofit organizations that focus on mentoring at-risk youth in Sussex County, with a preference for programs supporting those affected by substance abuse, sex trafficking and/or mental health issues.  
 
$5,000 – Green Beret Project
$4,675 – La Red Health Center
$2,825 – Mental Health Association of Delaware
$2,500 – YWCA of Delaware
 
Kent County YPB focused on organizations that enhance and support youth development in Kent County, with preference for those that focus on mental health, the arts, hunger and/or agriculture programs.  
 
$3,500 – Compassionate Hearts
$2,500 – Green Beret Project
$2,000 – Children & Families First
$2,000 – YWCA of Delaware
$5,000 – Survivors of Abuse in Recovery
 
New Castle County YPB focused on post-secondary readiness and/or mentoring programs that serve teens and young adults in New Castle County, with special consideration for initiatives that build leadership opportunities, address specific challenges (including homelessness, substance abuse or violence), or target traditionally underserved populations (including low-income and immigrant youth).
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