GIVE NEXT STUDENTS CELEBRATE A YEAR OF TRANSFORMATIVE LEARNING

GIVE NEXT youth philanthropy program at 18 middle and high schools in Poudre and Thompson school districts

 

By Meghan Pipe

Communications Coordinator, Designer

Bohemian Foundation

970-556-1201                                                                                                                                                              andrea@bohemianfoundation.org

 

This spring, students taking part in the Give Next youth philanthropy program at 18 middle and high schools in Poudre and Thompson school districts ended their school year by awarding $101,381 to local nonprofits. At each school, the grants were awarded at ceremonies that brought together students, parents, donors and nonprofit representatives–the culmination of the students’ year-long exploration of community nonprofits and the impact of philanthropy.

 

2015 Give Next Philanthropy Day

 

Each school’s Give Next ceremony had its own personality and flair. At Rocky Mountain High School, the event began with a celebratory performance by the school’s jazz combo; at Wellington Middle School, students and guests shared a meal before the evening’s presentation began. In every instance, students shared how their participation in the program had empowered them–to use their voices to advocate for others; to accept responsibility with care and seriousness; to feel as though they belong and have a role to play in their community.

“I never thought ever in my life that I would be a part of such a big and kind community that is all about helping people who are in need,” said Rocky Mountain senior Jared Rangel. Rangel provided closing remarks for his school’s Give Next ceremony, confidently speaking to the audience. “Someday, if someone needed me to speak out somewhere, I would, because Give Next really helped me with getting out of my comfort zone and doing stuff that I don’t normally do.”

By learning about the different services provided by nonprofits in the community, some students discovered their own interests and abilities related to giving. “The experience that inspired me the most was when our class went to Harmony House. They help abused or neglected kids reconnect with their parents and give them a voice. When I heard that, I was surprised. Some of my friends and I had to find our voices on our own,” said Rocky Mountain student Alex McMurray. “Now, if I find someone having trouble in their home or they’re on the street, I could give them a suggestion on where they can go to get help.”

“It’s a good habit to get into, helping out others and putting them before yourself,” agreed McMurray’s classmate Alec Contreras. “I hope to give more by volunteering at local senior living facilities because that is an area that interested me.”

At both ceremonies, students described the difficult task of evaluating grant applications and choosing just a handful of organizations to support with their grant funding. Each school was allocated $5,000 of donor-provided grant funding. Rocky Mountain High School raised an additional $1,500 dollars to award to their grantees through a “No-Shave November” school fundraiser.

“It was a pretty heavy responsibility,” said Wellington eighth grader Shannyn Knudsen. “I wanted to make sure that the nonprofits who received the grant were very deserving, which was hard to decide because of all the amazing nonprofits that applied.”

Classmate Kylee Lynn agreed. “Even a good nonprofit may not get a grant. But I was also excited to be responsible for helping to award grants to nonprofits that are making differences in the world.”

Wellington teacher and Give Next advisor Aaron Jackson described how his students came together as a team when undertaking this real-world responsibility. “Students came to understand that yes, they had to make tough decisions and no, not every student’s favorite [nonprofit] was going to receive the grant money. But they came to see that big decisions were not made in order to yield a winner or leave behind a loser; instead, the team came together under the belief that they could all get behind something bigger than themselves, and that ultimately, they were doing something good together.”

The Give Next groups at Rocky Mountain and Wellington awarded grants to Larimer County nonprofits with services related to the missions they’d chosen earlier in the school year – supporting families affected by trauma and mental health, respectively. Grantees included 3Hopeful Hearts, CASA of Larimer County’s Harmony House, Hearts & Horses Therapeutic Riding Center, Make-a-Wish Foundation of Colorado, Sexual Assault Victim Advocate Center, Specialized Alternatives for Families and Youth of Colorado and The Family Center/La Familia.

At both events, it was exciting to see these young people – some on the brink of entering high school, some about to graduate and enter the so-called “real world” – realize the strength of their own voices and the ways they can use their voices to advocate for others in need.

Jackson said that the students give him hope for the future. “In a world where adults can barely manage to talk about tough issues with decency, it is refreshing to see these youngsters find a way.”

 

Full List of 2018-2019 Give Next Grant Recipients:

Students awarded a total of $101,381 to 40 organizations.

School Grant Recipient Amount
Poudre School District:
Boltz Middle School
Boys and Girls Clubs of Larimer County

$2,500

Crossroads Safehouse

$3,300

Hearts & Horses, Inc.

$2,000

TOTAL:

$7,800

Cache La Poudre Middle IB World School
Disabled Resource Services

$1,000

Foothills Gateway, Inc.

$1,190

Foundation Music School

$955

Respite Care, Inc.

$1,500

The Arc of Larimer County

$1,000

TOTAL:

$5,645

Fort Collins High School
Food Bank for Larimer County

$1,000

Hearts & Horses, Inc.

$1,000

Project Smile Corporation

$1,000

Royal Family Kids Camp

$1,000

Teaching Tree Early Childhood Learning Center

$1,000

Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Program

$1,000

TOTAL:

$6,000

Kinard Core Knowledge Middle School
Ramstrength

$5,000

Respite Care, Inc.

$1,061

TOTAL:

$6,061

Lesher Middle IB World School
Center for Family Outreach

$1,351

Fort Collins Rescue Mission

$2,131

Partners Mentoring Youth

$719

TEAM Wellness & Prevention

$1,284

TOTAL:

$5,485

Lincoln Middle IB World School
Alliance for Suicide Prevention of Larimer County

$1,000

Hearts & Horses, Inc.

$500

Partners Mentoring Youth

$500

Sexual Assault Victim Advocate Center

$750

The Family Center / La Familia

$291

Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Program

$2,000

TOTAL:

$5,041

Polaris Expeditionary Learning School
Partners Mentoring Youth

$1,508

Realities for Children

$3,000

Voices Carry Child Advocacy Center

$1,000

TOTAL:

$5,508

Poudre Community Academy
Alternatives to Violence, Inc.

$500

Canyon Concert Ballet

$500

Center for Family Outreach

$500

Dance Express

$500

Fort Collins Museum of Discovery, NPP

$500

Foundation Music School

$450

LAUNCH: Community Through Skateboarding

$500

The Center for Fine Art Photography

$500

The Friends of the Gardens on Spring Creek

$600

The Matthews House

$500

TOTAL:

$5,050

Poudre High School
ChildSafe Colorado, Inc.

$5,000

TOTAL:

$5,000

PSD Global Academy
3Hopeful Hearts

$170

Family Housing Network of Fort Collins

$3,000

Fort Collins Habitat for Humanity

$2,000

TOTAL:

$5,170

Rocky Mountain High School
3Hopeful Hearts

$2,500

CASA of Larimer County – Harmony House

$1,000

Hearts & Horses, Inc.

$1,000

Make-A-Wish Foundation of Colorado, Inc.

$1,000

The Family Center / La Familia

$1,000

TOTAL:

$6,500

Wellington Middle School
Hearts & Horses, Inc.

$1,000

Sexual Assault Victim Advocate Center

$1,000

Specialized Alternatives for Families and Youth of Colorado, Inc. (SAFY of CO)

$3,000

TOTAL:

$5,000

Thompson School District
Berthoud High School
Alternatives to Violence, Inc.

$2,590

Sexual Assault Victim Advocate Center

$1,590

Specialized Alternatives for Families and Youth of Colorado, Inc. (SAFY of CO)

$1,300

The Arc of Larimer County

$810

TOTAL:

$6,290

High Plains School
CASA of Larimer County

$3,000

ChildSafe Colorado, Inc.

$1,500

Realities for Children

$1,813

TOTAL:

$6,313

Loveland High School
3Hopeful Hearts

$2,116

Alliance for Suicide Prevention of Larimer County

$3,000

TOTAL:

$5,116

Lucile Erwin Middle School
Easter Seals Colorado

$1,902

Hearts & Horses, Inc.

$2,000

The Arc of Larimer County

$1,500

TOTAL:

$5,402

Mountain View High School
Catholic Charities – The Mission

$1,000

Family Housing Network of Fort Collins

$4,000

TOTAL:

$5,000

Thompson Valley High School
Food Bank for Larimer County

$2,500

The Matthews House

$2,500

TOTAL:

$5,000

Grand Total:

$101,381

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