Youth Committee Has 70K In Grants

    GRAND RAPIDS — Some area teenagers are learning the art of — and rewards from — philanthropy at an early age.

    Members of the Grand Rapids Community Foundation’s Youth Grant Committee (YGC), a hands-on, real life grant making program for area high school students, are armed with $70,000 to fund programs aimed at addressing youth needs.

    The committee is seeking proposals from area nonprofit organizations with programs that target youths and teens. Special consideration will be given to programs or projects that address alcohol or drug use, drunk driving, stress and teen pregnancy.

    Those interested in obtaining grant money have about a month to complete the proposal and hand it in, as proposals are due by 5 p.m., Feb. 13, and any area tax-exempt, nonprofit organization with programs that target youths and teens are eligible to apply.

    Applications will be considered throughout March and April. Applicants will be notified of the committee’s decision in early May.

    The money available for the grants comes from income generated by a $1.4 million Youth Fund, which is held in permanent endowment by the Grand Rapids Community Foundation. The Youth Fund was established in 1991 with a $1 million grant in matching funds from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

    This year marks the 12th year of the Community Foundation’s YGC and in the last decade the group has awarded more than $500,000 to local nonprofit groups. Grants typically range from $500 to $15,000 with an average grant size of $5,000.

    The YGC is a permanent committee of the Grand Rapids Community Foundation and is comprised of 31 high school students from 10 area high schools. The committee is also responsible for all aspects of the grant making process.

    The group assesses community youth issues, develops and distributes requests for proposals for programs that address these issues, reviews grant proposals, conducts interviews and site visits and recommends final grant awards to the Community Foundation’s board of trustees.

    Applications can be requested by calling 454-1751 or by logging onto           

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