Students as grant makers

Fueled by pizza and the knowledge gained from four months of “learning lunches” Bexley High School students in the BEF’s Youth Philanthropy Program (YPP) got down to the business of grant making after-school on February 13.

Fifteen juniors and seniors heard from five high school teachers and several students who presented their projects for grant funding consideration. The presentations were the culmination of the program that provides students the opportunity to learn the philanthropic grant making process by utilizing the expertise of local nonprofit leaders and community, corporate and family foundation grant makers.

YPP student grant makers had $6,000 to distribute thanks to funding from the BEF’s Charlene Morgan Emerging Leaders Endowment Fund and a $1,000 grant from the Big Lots Foundation. This is the sixth year for the program that grew out of the former Leadership Bexley Program.  The Charlene Morgan Emerging Leaders Endowment Fund was created by the BEF Board of Governors in 2011 to honor the service and dedication of the BEF’s first Executive Director.

To date students in the YPP program have awarded over $25,000 in grant funding for projects ranging from the LEO Mission to inner-space to tables for the high school ping pong club. This year students took a page from the BEF’s Grants Committee and divided themselves into grant review teams. Based upon the teams’ recommendations and the applicant presentations, students awarded:

  • $1,000 to support high school students participating in the e-Sports Club and to promote the club and the opportunities it provides for college scholarships
  • $2,000 to purchase a small, raku kiln to support instruction on chemical oxidation in high school chemistry classes
  • $2,000 to pilot the use of Surface Pro technology as a teaching tool by the high school math department
  • $500 to support a spring residency by a local ceramics artist for the high school art department
  • $500 to purchase lacrosse equipment for a new unit in middle school and high school physical education classes

Applications for rising juniors and seniors who are interested in participating in the 2018-2019 YPP program will be available in the BEF office in April. To learn more about the program, including how to support the Charlene Morgan Emerging Leaders Endowment, please contact BEF Executive Director, Pam Glasgow at