It was not your typical after-school student gathering in the Bexley High School library on February 7. This group of Bexley junior and seniors was focused on the business of grant making as a way to support their school community. The group heard from five faculty members and a group of middle school students who presented their proposals for projects that could benefit from grant funding from the BEF’s Youth Philanthropy Program.
The presentations were a culmination of the program which provides high school students the opportunity to learn about the philanthropic grant making process. Students attended “learning lunches” throughout the fall and heard from a variety of nonprofit and foundation leaders on topics ranging from charitable oversight to evaluating grant proposals. They reviewed applications over winter break and then formed review teams, meeting with grant applicants prior to the formal presentations.
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 second year in a row Big Lots has awarded YPP students with extra funding to distribute, and the seventh year for the program that grew out of the former Leadership Bexley Program. The Charlene Morgan Emerging Leaders Endowment Fund was originally created by the BEF Board of Governors in 2011 to honor the service and dedication of the BEF’s first Executive Director.
To date, YPP student grant makers have awarded over $24,000 in funding for projects ranging from support for student clubs, to artist residencies to classroom technology.
The students evaluated each request against program criteria, asked questions of each presenter and visited the Cross-Categorical Classroom, located next to the high school library to see the sensory calming area in the classroom outfitted with sensory tools for special needs students.
The students approved funding for the following initiatives:
- $607 to purchase bean bag chairs and a lap top stand for the high school library
- $2,000 to purchase TI-Rovers and Hubs to support Geometry instruction in high school math classes
- $238 to support the purchase of materials for middle school students to build a portable nine-square court
- $1,642 to support the installation of a water-bottle filling station in the Cassingham Café
- $1,000 to support the purchase of five recycled benches for student seating in the science wing of the high school
- $500 to purchase sensory relaxation tools for students with special needs
Applications for rising juniors and seniors who are interested in participating in the 2019-2020 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 firstname.lastname@example.org