The Northern New York Community Foundation’s 2019-2020 Community Spirit Youth Giving Challenge kicked off Wednesday, Oct. 2. It is open to 7th- and 8th-grade students attending school in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties. Click here to download an application and instructions.
About the challenge
The Community Spirit Youth Giving Challenge began in October 2017 as an effort to engage middle school-aged children in the principles of community and philanthropy. That year, the Community Foundation selected 23 winning entries from more than 60 submissions by 7th- and 8th-grade students in Jefferson and Lewis counties, awarding grants to 19 nonprofit organizations totaling $10,000 in support. The Watertown-based nonprofit Stage Notes was a 2017-2018 Community Spirit Youth Giving Challenge partner. The 2018-2019 Community Spirit Youth Giving Challenge was expanded to include 7th- and 8th-grade students in St. Lawrence County. Community Bank N.A., joined the effort as the 2018-2019 program partner, providing a generous gift to help underwrite the grant awards.
The initiative strives to help participants explore their concept of “community” and provide funding to eligible 501(c)(3) charitable organizations that embody and support what they feel makes their community a great place to live. Through a written essay contest, the Community Spirit Youth Giving Challenge asks students to explain what community means to them and to choose a nonprofit organization that best embodies their definition of community. Students compete for a chance to award a $500 grant from a total of $10,000 available that the students themselves recommend. Twenty students are selected and each personally presents a $500 grant to the nonprofit organization they have chosen while spending time with the nonprofits’ leadership, learning about the organization’s mission and how it serves tri-county residents.
The Community Foundation and Community Bank N.A., our 2019-2020 sustaining partner, provide funding for the program. We are pleased to continue this initiative with support from Community Bank N.A., a generous private donor, as well as all who give to the Friends of the Foundation Annual Community Betterment Fund.
Check back to view a photo gallery of past Community Spirit Youth Giving Challenge winners!