Youth Philanthropy: Indian River schools among grant recipients

13 YPB grants

Members of the Youth Philanthropy Board, front row from left: Grant Pollack, Senior, Seaford High School; Kathleen Mooney, Senior, Sussex Central High School; Lauren McCoy, Senior, Sussex Central High School; Sequoia Bernard, Senior, Delmar High School; Maria Ferreri, Senior, Sussex Technical High School; Grace Brokaw, Junior, Cape Henlopen High School. Back row from left: Rick Brokaw, Junior, Cape Henlopen High School; Eben Marneweck, Junior, Delmarva Christian High School; Coryn Cannon, Cape Henlopen High School; Britanie Walls, Senior, Delmarva Christian High School; Zakary Keeler, Junior, Sussex Central High School. Members not pictured: Jacob Lee, Junior, Seaford High School; Vanessa Ortiz, Senior, Sussex Technical High School; Hailey Penuel, Junior, Woodbridge High School; Blanca Perez, Senior, Sussex Technical High School.

GEORGETOWN — The Sussex County Youth Philanthropy Board (YPB) of the Delaware Community Foundation (DCF) recently awarded $10,000 to four Sussex County nonprofit organizations at a grants ceremony at Sussex Pines Country Club in Georgetown.

The DCF’s Sussex County YPB is composed of 15 students from eight Sussex County public, independent and diocesan high schools. Since September, YPB members have been studying youth issues in their neighborhoods and schools, learning about community service and grant-making, and conducting site visits.

This year’s Sussex County YPB chose to focus on organizations that provide mentoring/tutoring to middle and high school students living in Sussex County to help improve their overall quality of life through interpersonal discussion and encouragement. The students selected the following grantees:

Connecting Generations: $3,000 to help pay for a part-time mentor coordinator at Georgetown Middle School, which currently only has six mentors for a school of 670 students.

Selbyville Middle School Peer Mentoring Program: $3,000 to provide transportation for the student mentors from other schools to get to Selbyville Middle and also provide English-Spanish reading materials to help English Language Learner students.

Children & Family First: $2,500 to partially fund a new dance/movement/music therapist at Seaford House to help teens express their pain and lead them comfortably into conversation and discussion to facilitate their healing.

Pathways to Success: $1,500 to add five certified student mentors/tutors to their program – three at Sussex Tech High School and two at Cape Henlopen High School; and to train one site coordinator.

The Delaware Community Foundation sponsors a Youth Philanthropy Board in each Delaware county to encourage high school students to become more involved in philanthropy. Each board of high school students is allotted a pool of money to give as charitable grants. The students learn about philanthropy and effective grant-making, study youth issues in their neighborhoods and schools, solicit grant proposals, conduct site visits, and award grants to those they determine to be most deserving.

Retired Delaware educator Phyllis Wynn established the Youth Philanthropy Fund in 1999 because she wanted to encourage youth to become more involved in philanthropic ventures. Students who serve on the YPB are nominated by their principal or guidance counselor.

“The Youth Philanthropy Board program does more than give kids the chance to make a difference,” said Bill Allan, DCF senior vice president for Southern Delaware. “It gets them out into the community to experience firsthand the impact their work has on people’s lives.”

The Sussex County Post delivers news from Georgetown and southern Delaware. Follow @SussexPost on Twitter.

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