High school students participating in the Youth Philanthropy Boards (YPB) of the Delaware Community Foundation (DCF) have awarded $50,000 to 19 nonprofit organizations throughout the state.
The DCF sponsors a YPB in each county, to encourage high school students to become more involved in philanthropy. Each board of high school students is allotted a pool of money to give as charitable grants.
Since September, YPB members have been studying youth issues in their neighborhoods and schools, learning about philanthropy and effective grantmaking, soliciting grant proposals and conducting site visits to nonprofit organizations. Using that knowledge and experience, the students awarded grants to nonprofits they determined to be most deserving.
Jessica Smith, from Cab Calloway School of the Arts, noted the impact the YPB has had on her, “For the past two years, I have been an active and proud participant on the Delaware Community Foundation Youth Philanthropy Board where we allocate money to nonprofit organizations in our local community in an attempt to solve some of the most critical issues in our state and reduce the ever-present opportunity gap.”
The DCF provides $15,000 to New Castle County YPB and $10,000 each to the Kent and Sussex YPBs. 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.
With the COVID-19 pandemic making the grants award dinners in each county unfeasible, Congresswoman Blunt Rochester recorded a message expressing her gratitude toward their volunteer service and their desire to help out their fellow Delawareans. View the video at bit.ly/lbr-ypb.
“We are so inspired by you,” Blunt Rochester said. “You give us hope. You give us encouragement. We know what we have to look forward to in the future because we have such compassionate young people like you. On behalf of the whole State of Delaware, I want to say thank you.”
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).
$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
Retired Delaware educator Phyllis Wynn established the Youth Philanthropy Fund in 1999 because she wanted to encourage youth to become more involved in philanthropic ventures. Students who serve on the YPB are nominated by their principal or guidance counselor.
“The Youth Philanthropy Board program does more than give kids the chance to make a difference,” DCF President & CEO Stuart Comstock-Gay said. “It gets them out into the community to experience firsthand the impact their work has on people’s lives.”
Photo: Members of the 2019-2020 Sussex County Youth Philanthropy Board of the Delaware Community Foundation granted $15,000 in Sussex to four organizations. $50,000 was granted statewide. For information about the Delaware Community Foundation and participation on the YPB, visit delcf.org/ypb.