A student panel from the Community Foundation of Howard County’s Youth in Philanthropy (YIP) program has selected nine nonprofits for its community grant awards. The grants total $25,000, with funding coming from the Youth in Philanthropy fund and the Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County, two field of interest funds under the Community Foundation of Howard County umbrella.
Youth in Philanthropy, a second-year program of CFHoCo, was established in 2019 to provide opportunities for high school students to learn about philanthropy firsthand. The YIP class consists of 26 students representing 13 different Howard County high schools. The students learn about community nonprofits, explore the fundraising and grant process and tackle local issues such as homelessness, hunger, domestic violence, environmental issues, arts and cultural opportunities.
“Our YIP students did a tremendous job throughout this process – learning about needs of our community and awarding grants that can make a real impact,” said Dee Athey, CFHoCo’s Director of Grants and Community Engagement. “I was so impressed and proud of their thoughtfulness, focus and competence during the review and interview processes.”
Youth in Philanthropy empowers students to solicit and evaluate grant applications and award funds based on need and effectiveness to nonprofit organizations in Howard County. The group met virtually to talk through the nominations, discuss the merits of each application and interview finalists. This year the group placed a premium on programs that enable access to basic needs, address mental health and help young girls and women.
“YIP participants were able to actively learn about the entire lifecycle of the grant process from the grant submission, review, interview and award phases,” said Lee Draminski, secretary of the Women’s Giving Circle advisory board. “In the end, they were able to gain consensus as a collective group to make decisions about contributing financially to causes they felt address basic needs in their own community. They were able to gain insight into the reasons why these nonprofits were requesting the money, and how the grants would be used if selected, while becoming more aware and learning more about the various struggles these organizations and the populations they serve encounter.”
Here’s more information on each of the nine selected Howard County nonprofits, the award amount and a note about the program:
Camp Attaway, $5,000, supporting one-of a-kind Howard County therapeutic recreation program for children ages 7-13 with complex emotional and behavioral disorders and additional support programs for their families
“We are very grateful to the young people involved in the Community Foundation of Howard County’s Youth in Philanthropy program for investing in Attaway programs that support the mental health of children with special needs and their families. This grant will provide scholarships so children with complex emotional and behavioral challenges who need Attaway’s specialized therapeutic summer camp services can access them irrespective of their family’s financial situation, and have a summer filled with fun activities, friendship and personal growth!”
–Sue Ann Shafley, Camp Attaway, Executive Director
Center for Creative Life and Learning, Inc., $1,000, supporting the mental health education and support programs of the Girls on Fire Mentoring and Enrichment Program
“Because COVID has left many teens feeling isolated, we decided to make mental health one of our priorities this year. As we learned from the interview, isolation has greatly affected the mental health of teenage girls in our community. With the promise of creating mental health webinars available to the public aimed towards teen girls, we feel very honored to help this effort with our grant.”
–Lexi Nquyen, Atholton High School, Class of 2021
Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center, $5,000, supporting Grassroots shelter residents moving from shelter to permanent housing with beds and basic household supplies
“On behalf of the people served by the Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center, we thank the Youth in Philanthropy team for its generous encouragement and support. The YIP grant is being used to buy new beds for people who have struggled and succeeded in making the move from the Grassroots shelter to homes of their own. Your gift adds to the celebration.”
–Dr. Mariana Izraelson, Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center, Executive Director
HopeWorks of Howard County, $4,000, supporting The Our Voice Project: Survivor Wellness & Leadership programs for adults and teens impacted by sexual and intimate partner violence
“HopeWorks is an amazing organization run by amazing people, and I was so grateful to be able to fund something that would impact the lives of many women and children in the local area. It is necessary that these people are provided a safe space in times of crisis, especially after COVID and the stress that our community felt as a result. That is why it was so vital to me that we supported the cause.”
–Cassidy Bahel, Mt. Hebron High School, Class of 2022
Indian Cultural Association of Howard County, $1,000, supporting the Feed Children in Howard County effort to address emergency family hunger needs in Howard County
Luminus, $2,500, supporting the volunteer and internship programs of the Luminus Network for New Americans (formerly FIRN)
“As a youth group, we were excited to give a grant to the Luminus project because of their focus on recruiting youth volunteers to help new Americans.”
–Abby O’Brien, River Hill High School, Class of 2021
S.A.F.E. – Supplying Allergy Friendly and Emergency – Food Pantry, Inc., $3,000, supporting food pantry and education/outreach efforts to distribute gluten free and allergy-friendly food through partnerships in the Howard County food security network.
“The S.A.F.E. food pantry is one I personally think is very important. An area of interest for the group was hunger, and this particular organization addresses this issue in a way that is inclusive of those with food allergies, a demographic that others may overlook.”
–Kyle Marshall, Wilde Lake High School, Class of 2022
United Way of Central Maryland, $2,500, supporting the 211 Maryland United Way Helpline to provide information and referrals to callers, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in over 150 languages
“Access to resources is critical, and the 211 Helpline helps people in our community learn and access resources such as food banks and job assistance. During the pandemic, their service has been widely successful, and we wanted to reward and help to continue their success so that this service could continue to be used in Howard County.”
–Lexi Nquyen, Atholton High School, Class of 2021
VolunTeens Co., $1,000, supporting activities and volunteer service projects opportunities for Howard County high school students
“Volunteens was an important investment because their organization really connects to Youth in Philanthropy on a personal level. Volunteens was created by teenagers and Youth in Philanthropy is made up of teenagers. Our goals for supporting the community align perfectly.”
–Mia Swaby-Rowe, Wilde Lake High School Class of 2022