High school students participating in the Youth Philanthropy Boards of the Delaware Community Foundation awarded $50,000 to 19 nonprofit organizations throughout the state, the DCF announced June 1.
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 2019, 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,” she said.
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 Rep. 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, 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,” said Blunt Rochester. “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.”
The 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. It will allocate $3,500 to Compassionate Hearts; $2,500 to the Green Beret Project; $2,000 to Children & Families First; $2,000 to YWCA of Delaware; and $5,000 to Survivors of Abuse in Recovery.
New Castle County YPB focused on postsecondary 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. It will allocate $1,250 to Jewish Family Services; $2,500 to Leading Youth Through Empowerment; $2,500 to Survivors of Abuse in Recovery; $2,500 to The Delaware Contemporary; $2,500 to Delaware Youth Leadership Network; $3,125 to Catholic Charities; $3,125 to YWCA of Delaware; and $2,500 to 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. It will allocate $5,000 to the Green Beret Project; $4,675 to La Red Health Center; $2,825 to the Mental Health Association of Delaware; and $2,500 to the 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,” said DCF President and CEO Stuart Comstock-Gay. “It gets them out into the community to experience firsthand the impact their work has on people’s lives.”
For more, visit delcf.org/ypb or call 571-8004.