A 15-member student panel from the Community Foundation of Howard County’s Youth in Philanthropy (YIP) program selected six nonprofits for its second round of COVID-19 relief grants. The grants total $20,000 and were awarded to Equity4HC ($5,000), United Way of Central Maryland ($5,000), Prepare for Success ($3,000), Meals on Wheels ($3,000), HopeWorks ($2,000) and Neighbor Ride ($2,000).

The Youth in Philanthropy students also donated $10,000 in grants to four other Howard County nonprofits at the end of May, bringing the total YIP grant funding to $30,000 across 10 nonprofits.

After YIP’s first round of grants at the end of May, the students initiated the #19for19 fundraising campaign to raise $5,000. Each student was challenged to solicit a $19 donation from 19 people they knew, and they exceeded their goal. Baltimore Gas and Electric, the development team building the new Howard County courthouse and the Community Foundation of Howard County board matched the sum, donating $5,000 each.

“It was really impressive how our YIP students adjusted to the new world of Covid-19 in March,” said Jeffrey Boutwell, a foundation volunteer and donor who established the Youth in Philanthropy program with CFHoCo. “First, they re-oriented the initial grant program of $10,000 to meet the needs of coronavirus emergency response organizations. Then in June they took the initiative to start a second round of fundraising that ultimately brought in $20,000 that they have just awarded in grants.”

Equity4HC received $5,000.

“We chose Equity4HC because food may not be accessible or available for some people, and Columbia Community Care makes a direct impact that community members can benefit from by providing food at their stations located at schools such as Swansfield Elementary,” said Lexi Nguyen, a rising senior from Atholton High School.

United Way of Central Maryland received $5,000.

“As I have personally been impacted by the current pandemic—suffering the death of a beloved family member—I am acutely aware of how trying this time has been for many Americans,” said Anwar Perry, a rising senior at Reservoir High School. “Unlike some who have suffered a loss to coronavirus, I am fortunate to have been largely shielded from the economic downturn. The working class, particularly African Americans, has been hardest hit, so choosing United Way of Central Maryland’s COVID-19 fund was both a practical and personal choice for me. The fund helps families who are struggling to afford basic expenses; assists other nonprofits who are strained due to current demands; and supports healthcare workers who have been on the frontline during this crisis.”

Prepare for Success received $3,000.

“With the recent announcement of schools moving online for at least the first semester due to the ongoing pandemic, the demand for school supplies for all ages will be at an all-time high,” said River Hill High School rising senior Alex Oh. “By connecting Howard County students to a full set of school supplies that they need to be successful in this new model of education, Prepare for Success removes financial burden from students’ families and allows the students to focus on their studies.”

Meals on Wheels received $3,000.

“Considering how the elderly have been heavily impacted by COVID-19, we selected Meals On Wheels due to its holistic approach in terms of its meal delivery service,” said Nica Vasquez, a rising senior at Wilde Lake High School. “By having the elderly receive in-home meal delivery, Meals On Wheels not only focuses on tackling hunger, but also combats social isolation, addresses safety hazards, and overall provides holistic care to the elderly.”

HopeWorks received $2,000.

“We chose HopeWorks for funding because of the surge in domestic violence cases due to COVID-19,” said Devin Tyler, a rising junior at Glenelg Country School. “HopeWorks has done an excellent job of providing much needed support for victims of this tragedy, and we think that our funding will help them to expand their outreach and continue to positively impact the lives of citizens in Howard County.”

Neighbor Ride received $2,000.

“We take it for granted, but the independence we have from being able to drive ourselves anywhere isn’t available to everyone,” said Lexi Nguyen, a rising senior at Atholton High School. “This is true for many senior citizens, who may not have access to transportation. Neighbor Ride provides access to safe and reliable transportation, allowing seniors to continue to be independent and stay connected to the community. Especially now in the pandemic, where we need to follow safety guidelines like social distancing, we want to ensure that seniors in our community can have the same independence that others have to get where they need to be in a safe and reliable way.”

The Community Foundation of Howard County (CFHoCo) established Youth in Philanthropy in 2019 to provide opportunities for high school students to learn about philanthropy firsthand. The YIP inaugural class consists of 15 sophomores and juniors representing nine different Howard County high schools. The students learn about community nonprofits, explore the fundraising and grant process, tackle local issues—such as homelessness, hunger, domestic violence, environmental issues, arts and cultural opportunities—solicit and evaluate grant applications and award funds based on need and effectiveness.

The Community Foundation of Howard County serves as a knowledgeable, trusted partner that forges connections between donors and nonprofit organizations to provide impactful investments in Howard County. The foundation has awarded more than $25 million in grants to organizations delivering human service, arts and cultural, educational and civic programs. Money for the grant programs comes primarily from income generated by the foundation’s endowment supported by more than 300 funds established by Howard County businesses, families and individuals. For more information, visit CFHoCo.org or call 410-730-7840.

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Scott E

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