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Students from 26 middle and high schools in Estes, Poudre, and Thompson school districts recently celebrated the end of their school year by awarding $151,725 to Larimer County nonprofits. The award celebrations marked the culmination of a year spent designing and managing their own grantmaking programs through Give Next.
Give Next is a school-based program that uses grantmaking as a tool to shift power to youth, build understanding of complex social issues and connect youth to each other and their community. Through the program, local businesses, foundations and individuals become classroom donors by providing each school with $5,000 to award to Larimer County nonprofits. Students work together to identify community needs, choose a focus area, create a mission statement, research nonprofits, review grant applications and make funding decisions. In addition, they organize their own fundraisers to increase their grantmaking capacity. In celebration of Give Next’s 10th anniversary this year, Alpine Bank sponsored a $10,000 student fundraising match. Students surpassed the challenge, raising a record $11,725—bringing total student fundraising to $21,725.
Dozens of Larimer County nonprofits will benefit from the funds. The Alliance for Suicide Prevention received grants from six classrooms, totaling more than $12,000. In part, the funds will support their Youth Advisory Council. The council is comprised of youth volunteers who review the nonprofit’s peer-focused activities. They provide feedback and guidance to ensure programs are tailored for and well received by youth in the community. This resonated with Give Next students, who recognize the importance of amplifying youth voices to prevent suicides.
“Mental health is a very pressing issue that we face every day with the suicide rates amongst teens growing,” said Cooper McGrew, Give Next participant from Boltz Middle School. “Even though there are support groups out there, kids still struggle reaching out and feeling heard. We need to create a society in which [youth] voices are raised up and truly listened to before it is too late.” Boltz Middle School donated $3,600 of their grant money to the Alliance for Suicide Prevention.
Since 2012, students have awarded over three-quarters of a million dollars to more than 100 nonprofits in the community through Give Next. More than $100,000 of that has come directly from student-led fundraising efforts.
For more information about Give Next, visit givenextnoco.org.
2021-2022 Give Next Grant Recipients
Estes Park School District
Estes Park High School: Estes Park Learning Place, EVICS Family Resource Center, La Cocina, Lifelong Learning of Estes Valley Preschool, Sexual Assault Victim Advocate Center
Poudre School District
Blevins Middle School: Make-A-Wish Foundation of Colorado, Sexual Assault Victim Advocate Center, Voices Carry Child Advocacy Center
Boltz Middle School: Alliance for Suicide Prevention of Larimer County, Hearts & Horses
Cache La Poudre Middle IB World School: 3Hopeful Hearts, Alliance for Suicide Prevention of Larimer County, CASA of Larimer County
Centennial High School: Vindeket Foods, Wildlands Restoration Volunteers
Fort Collins High School: Friends of the Gardens on Spring Creek, Vindeket Foods
Fossil Ridge High School: 3Hopeful Hearts, Healing Warriors Program
Kinard Core Knowledge Middle School: Family Housing Network of Fort Collins, FoCo Café, Food Bank for Larimer County
Lesher Middle IB World School: Intercultural Community Builders, La Cocina
Lincoln Middle IB World School: Alliance for Suicide Prevention of Larimer County, Food Bank for Larimer County, Homeward Alliance, Larimer County Partners, Inc., Teaching Tree Early Childhood Learning Center
Polaris Expeditionary Learning School: ChildSafe Colorado, Interfaith Solidarity and Accompaniment Coalition (ISAAC)
Poudre Community Academy: Alternatives to Violence, Canyon Concert Ballet, Center for Family Outreach, Dance Express, Fort Collins Museum of Discovery, Foundation Music School, Sound Affects Music
Poudre High School: 3Hopeful Hearts, Crossroads Safehouse, Neighbor to Neighbor, Teaching Tree Early Childhood Learning Center
Preston Middle School: Healing Warriors Program, No Barriers, Stillwater Ranch
PSD Global Academy: Alliance for Suicide Prevention of Larimer County, ChildSafe Colorado, Hearts & Horses, LAUNCH: Community Through Skateboarding
Rocky Mountain High School: FoCo Café, Food Bank for Larimer County, Fort Collins Eyeopeners Kiwanis Club, Foster and Adoptive Families of Larimer County, McBackpack, Inc., Sproutin’ Up Corporation, Vindeket Foods
Wellington Middle-High School: RamStrength (Lubick Foundation)
Thompson School District
Berthoud High School: CASA of Larimer County, Foster and Adoptive Families of Larimer County, Hide in Plain Sight, Interfaith Solidarity and Accompaniment Coalition (ISAAC), The Matthews House
High Plains School: Alliance for Suicide Prevention of Larimer County, ChildSafe Colorado, Healing Warriors Program
Loveland High School: Friends of the Gardens on Spring Creek, Vindeket Foods
Lucile Erwin Middle School: 3Hopeful Hearts, ChildSafe Colorado
Mountain View High School: 3Hopeful Hearts, Heart J Center for Experiential Learning at Sylvan Dale Ranch, Hearts & Horses, LAUNCH: Community Through Skateboarding
Riverview PK-8 School: Alliance for Suicide Prevention of Larimer County, Alternatives to Violence, ChildSafe Colorado, Larimer County Partners, Inc.
Thompson Valley High School: CARE Housing, Homeward Alliance, House of Neighborly Service
Turner Middle School: Alternatives to Violence, ChildSafe Colorado, Voices Carry Child Advocacy Center
Walt Clark Middle School: Crossroads Safehouse, Sexual Assault Victim Advocate Center, The Avery Center
Bohemian Foundation provides management support for Give Next. Bohemian Foundation is a private family foundation established in 2001. Based in Fort Collins, Colorado, Bohemian Foundation supports local, national and global efforts to build strong communities.