YouthRoots Routt County grants $13,500 to local nonprofits
The Yampa Valley Community Foundation partnered in 2022-2023 with the nonprofit YouthRoots to implement a leadership program that empowers high school students to address community issues.
During the year-long program, the YouthRoots Routt County cohort acted as a mini foundation, identifying issues affecting youth and using philanthropy to tackle those concerns. After first identifying a broad range of interests and meeting with nonprofit leaders to deep-dive into those issues, the nine students narrowed their focus to suicide prevention and healthy relationships. With the guidance of a facilitator, direction from the YouthRoots curriculum, and mentorship from community volunteers and YVCF staff, they subsequently wrote a Request for Proposals, met with potential donors to fundraise for the cause, and evaluated grant applications. All five nonprofit applicants will be receiving full to partial funding for programming that addresses youth suicide prevention and better resources around healthy relationships.
The five nonprofit programs receiving funding include:
- Expanding Open Hearts Advocates’ services for youth in crisis including increased training for peer helpers
- Funding for Better Tomorrow’s Social Change primary prevention program which educates students about consent/healthy boundaries, staying safe online, reframing masculinity, and more
- Supporting a Youth Resiliency staff at Northwest Colorado Health to help youth with Adverse Childhood Experiences develop resilience and protective factors
- Funding for Reaching Everyone Preventing Suicide’s (REPS) suicide prevention Youth Ambassador Program
- Covering the speaker fee for a former professional rodeo athlete to address and raise awareness about mental health struggles at a 4H event
Over the course of a year, this group of youth raised awareness among local nonprofit organizations about their issues of concern and directly stimulated programming with grant funding. After concluding the comprehensive leadership development curriculum, these youth are stepping into the role of empowered and capable leaders who are changing the world through philanthropy.