For the sixth year in a row, the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies’ Youth Philanthropy Interns will determine the recipients of $50,000 in nonprofit funding.
Over the past four weeks, the CFA’s summer interns have been busy assessing community needs through research, site visits, and interviews. In doing so, they have chosen two areas of interest that they would like to impact: access to all art forms for young people, and a need to build regional unity through community connections.
The interns, organized in two teams, have released two Requests for Proposals to fund projects that would be implemented in Bedford, Cambria, Indiana, and/or Somerset counties:
“Arts for the Alleghenies” is focused on supporting and enhancing the arts within the community, especially as it relates to young people. As community members who have actively participated in various arts programs throughout our lives, this team sees the importance of youth engagement in the arts and how it can act as a vehicle for stimulating a community of different individuals sharing a common interest.
“We hold youth arts engagement in high esteem and believe that similar programs can bring people of all backgrounds and ethnicities together to appreciate the arts in a new light while recognizing the important assets the arts can contribute to a community such as our own,” says Team Leader Ethan Wingard. “We encourage youth arts engagement in all forms, whether performance or visual, and encourage any program that believes in and supports this mission to apply.”
“Forging Unity” plans to award funding to a project(s) that will engage community members in activities outside their homes, promote a healthy community atmosphere and foster relationships among residents, and improve community life through interactions among members of the area.
“We identified several causes of regional disconnect: limited entertainment and social opportunities, weak family structures, blight in local neighborhoods, closed-mindedness, and the well-publicized drug epidemic,” explains Team Leader Adeline Mishler. “We would like to eliminate the stigma that there is ‘nothing to do here,’ and more effectively communicate the opportunities that our area has to offer.”
This team drew attention to seven keys, according to the community cultivation group PlaceMakers, that are crucial to strengthening the social fabric of communities: good governance, walkable and mixed-use character, parks and recreation, partnerships, programming (such as festivals and events), neighborhood-responsive schools, and tree culture.
The Youth Philanthropy Internship is made possible by generous funding from The Heinz Endowments. During the eight week program, local college-bound high school graduates research community needs and nonprofit impact with the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies. Interns craft radio documentaries highlighting local interests, assemble a marketing project to recruit the next group of Youth Philanthropy Interns, conduct site visits, interviews, and networking, and use that information to award the YPI grants.
CFA Program and Communications Officer Angie Berzonski says, “This paid internship is an integral part of getting youth involved and invested in this community. Year after year, the interns prove themselves as future leaders, discover a new appreciation for their hometowns, and deepen their passion for helping.”
Hard copies can be obtained at the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies office (116 Market Street, Johnstown, PA), or by email request: [email protected] or [email protected]. Applications must be received (via email and/or hard copy) by August 2nd at midnight. Proposals will be evaluated by the teams of interns along with CFA staff, and will culminate with a grant announcement and check presentation at our Founders’ Day celebration August 9. Organizations that are IRS-designated as 501(c)3, as well as governmental entities and religious organizations from Bedford, Cambria, Indiana, and/or Somerset counties, may submit proposals.
The Community Foundation for the Alleghenies is a public, nonprofit foundation that manages funds for community strengthening activity throughout Bedford, Cambria, Indiana, and Somerset counties. The CFA empowers the people and organizations at the heart of progress in our region, bringing together talent, ideas, and resources to move our communities forward.
Remember the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies in your estate planning. We’ll help you design your legacy. Find out more at cfalleghenies.org.