Each year a diverse team of high schoolers works together to impact the community by serving on our Youth Grant Committee. They recently celebrated the culmination of their year by announcing $50,000 in grant partnerships with local programs that benefit youth in Kent County.
DeUnique Dorris, a YGC member who also serves as the Youth Trustee on Grand Rapids Community Foundations’ Board of Trustees, says, “It was a privilege to observe how the Community Foundation and grant partners work together. I learned to speak up and advocate for causes I’m passionate about, and the networking, organization, teamwork and public speaking skills I developed will continue to impact my life. There is still more for me to learn and I hope this is just the beginning of my relationship with Grand Rapids Community Foundation.”
The YGC used a needs assessment survey to prioritize their giving. One area of focus was mental health. “Mental health challenges have far-reaching effects on unemployment, homelessness, education and physical health. Thus, we decided to focus a portion of our grantmaking on this very important topic,” says Khya Carter, youth grant committee member.
After prioritizing community needs, the YGC assessed grant applications, conducted site visits and held conversations with program partners. Grants awarded this year include:
- Artists Creating Together: $2,350
- Better Wiser Stronger Inc: $3,000
- Bridge Street House of Prayer: $2,000
- Children's Healing Center: $5,000
- Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services: $3,500
- Ebony Road Players: $3,000
- Girls Growing II Women, Inc.: $3,000
- Grand Rapids HQ: $2,000
- Grandville Avenue Arts and Humanities Inc.: $ 2,500
- Junior Achievement of the Michigan Great Lakes: $2,500
- Kingdom Minded Ministries: $ 6,000
- No Surrender Running Club: $3,000
- Planned Parenthood of Michigan: $4,500
- SLD Read: $3,650
- The Edge Urban Church: $4,000
“Serving on the YGC gave me a better understanding of the organizations that exist in our community. I will always remember the importance of work being done in the nonprofit sector and the opportunity I have to be part of it,” says Riley Wilson, YGC co-chair.
We are grateful to the YGC for generously giving their time and resources, and we look forward to their continued leadership in the years to come!
Interested in learning more about the Youth Grant Committee? View more details here: Youth Grant Committee.