A 15-member student panel from the Community Foundation of Howard County’s Youth in Philanthropy (YIP) program has selected four nonprofits for its first-ever community grant awards. The grants total $10,000 and will be awarded to the Community Action Council of Howard County ($4,000), Bridges to Housing Stability ($3,000), Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center ($2,000) and Chase Brexton Health Services ($1,000).
Youth in Philanthropy, a new effort from the Community Foundation, was established in 2019 to provide opportunities for high school students to learn about philanthropy firsthand. The YIP inaugural class consists of 15 sophomores and juniors representing nine 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. 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.
Seated at table from left to right: Alex Oh, Abby O'Brien, Nica Vasquez, Tia Yu, Hunter Brown, Ali DaCosta-Paul, Lexi Nguyen, Tyler May, Devin Tyler. Daniel Hersey, Kyle Marshall, Tami Akinrelere, Bryn Schwartz, Navya Natarajan, Anwar Perry.
When COVID-19 interrupted the school year, the YIP students all agreed to continue in the program and shifted their focus on helping their neighbors through the pandemic. Five teams of three students each researched local nonprofits and compiled a list of charities to nominate for grants. The group met virtually to talk through the nominations and discuss the merits of each nominee.
In addition to the grant awards, YIP is also announcing a student-initiated fundraising campaign. The students will reach out to their social networks and school communities to solicit donations for a second round of grants. All gifts are tax deductible and can be submitted online through the Youth in Philanthropy Fund at the Community Foundation. To maximize the impact made by a second round of YIP grants, CFHoCo will match gifts to the YIP Fund in the next month. “All 15 of our YIP members did a great job learning about the coronavirus emergency relief needs of our community and awarding grants that can make a real difference to those affected most by the pandemic,” said Jeffrey Boutwell, a foundation volunteer and donor who established the program. “It was their idea to continue these efforts, and we’re so pleased to help YIP launch a second round of fundraising and grant making under the auspices of the Community Foundation of Howard County.”
Here’s more information on each of the four selected Howard County nonprofits:
Bridges to Housing Stability Inc.: $3,000 to provide basic supplies, food and emergency financial assistance to households destabilized by COVID-19.
Chase Brexton Health Services: $1,000 to provide urgent access to food and rental assistance to Howard County patients experiencing financial hardship during the pandemic.
Community Action Council of Howard County: $4,000 to support the increased demand for services at the Howard County Food Bank.
Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center: $2,000 to support the increased need for crisis and homeless services in Howard County as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.