The Youth Philanthropy Council of the Northern New York Community Foundation awarded more than $17,000 in grants to support eight requests from non-profit organizations serving Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties. The grants were approved recently by the Community Foundation’s board of directors and advisory committees.
Now in its seventh year, the Community Foundation’s Youth Philanthropy Council consisted of 14 sophomore members from three different school districts: Watertown High School, Immaculate Heart Central School, and Sackets Harbor Central School. The council reviewed nearly 30 grant requests from local non-profits and hosted presentations before determining its grant recommendations.
“One of the most important things we can do as a Community Foundation is to nurture our youth in ways that encourage them to consider the opportunities to become civically engaged and find pathways to service and philanthropy both now and in the future. While the grantmaking enhances our region, the long-term benefits of this program have the potential to be even more significant,” said Rande Richardson, Community Foundation executive director.
As part of the program experience, the council volunteered in the community and conducted site visits to organizations such as Thompson Park Conservancy, Hay Memorial Library in Sackets Harbor, and the Salvation Army in Watertown.
“These council members learned valuable life lessons that are best acquired outside the walls of their respective schools, and in doing so have had a positive impact on our community,” said Emily Sprague, Youth Philanthropy Council mentor and advisor. “We are growing the philanthropists of the future by planting the seeds early, and look forward to their continued growth and positive impact on our community.”
The program is made possible each year through the generosity of Watertown Savings Bank, the Renzi Foodservice Charitable Foundation, RBC Wealth Management and annual gifts to the Friends of the Foundation Community Betterment Fund.
The Youth Philanthropy Council grant awards are:
- Boys and Girls Club of Massena – $4,000 to support the organization’s “Teen Adventure Club” activities and increase access for disadvantaged youth in 2018.
- Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways – $3,000 to enhance the agency’s “College Life Program” to be held this fall for high school sophomores at Jefferson Community College.
- Volunteer Transportation Center – $2,500 to assist with mileage reimbursement for volunteer drivers across the tri-county region.
- Hawn Memorial Library – $2,500 to engage youth in programs promoting boat building and the history of the St. Lawrence River.
- Henderson Free Library – $2,000 for the purchase of books and materials that will encourage youth to discover STEM-related skills and opportunities.
- Hospice of St. Lawrence Valley – $1,600 to establish a “Music and Memory” program to help patients struggling with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
- Potsdam Holiday Fund – $1,000 for the purchase of winter hats, gloves and other warm clothing as part of the agency’s holiday program to support families in need.
- Watertown American Little League – $700 to purchase appropriate containers that will bolster a recycling initiative to educate youth and adult participants.
Youth Philanthropy Council of the Northern New York Community Foundation
Front Row (L-R): Hannah Pitcher (Sackets Harbor); Marialena Mouaikel (IHC); Madeline Gist (Watertown); Megan Welch (IHC);
Makayla Fiorentino (Watertown); Caroline McPherson (IHC); Rozanna Pasowicz (Watertown).
Back Row (L-R): Alicia Cloe (Sackets Harbor); Lauryn Quinn (IHC); Kyler Martin (Sackets Harbor); Ryder Simser (Watertown);
Dominic Duah (IHC); Grayden Brunet (Sackets Harbor); Kehinde Fasehun (Watertown).