Editorial – Looking to the Future: NNYCF Hosts 5th Annual Community Spirit Youth Giving Challenge | Editorials

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Promoting youth civic engagement is essential and the Northern New York Community Foundation has taken on this task.

He is once again organizing his Community Spirit Youth Giving Challenge. The competition is open to seventh and eighth graders in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties.

The NNYCF will choose 20 applications from all those submitted. Students must complete a written test request to participate.

“The challenge aims to inspire students to learn more about their communities as they compete for the opportunity to award a $ 500 grant to a local non-profit organization of their choice. This is the fifth year of the program, which is made possible by donors from the Friends of the Community Foundation Annual Community Improvement Fund, business support from the Community Bank and a donation from a individual donor, ”according to a press article published in September. 22 by the Watertown Daily Times. “Students from Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties can compete for a $ 10,000 share of the total scholarship. Twenty students will be selected to each donate a $ 500 grant to a charity of their choice that they believe makes their community great. … In the first four years of the program, 83 students were selected to present 79 grants totaling $ 40,000 to 67 different nonprofits that serve residents of three counties.

This program achieves two laudable objectives.

The first, frankly, is obvious for us to support. As a newspaper, we absolutely applaud any effort to promote well-crafted writing projects to young people! Being able to choose the right words to communicate effectively is an essential skill, and we commend the NNYCF for making this part of the Community Spirit Youth Giving Challenge.

Second, this program inspires students to think about the issues facing their communities and the organizations that meet those specific needs. In doing so, it forces them to recognize the good work done by certain groups.

“This contest was an invitation for college students in the region to talk about the things they love in their community. They were competing to award a total of $ 10,000 to local charities. Whether they realize it or not, they were exploring, thinking and really reflecting on the importance of loving the community, loving the place where they live and making it better for themselves and their neighbors ”, Richardson wrote. “What does an ideal community look like through the eyes of our young people? Of the 62 essays submitted by nine school districts, there were several common themes, including love, kindness, joy, caring, connection, security, support, help, unity, diversity. , belonging, neighbors, beauty, happiness, improvement, belonging, sharing and respect. These young adults also recognized that it takes all types of organizations to help create and maintain their best vision for their community by appointing charities that they believe support their love of community.

“These young minds have shown that they are aware that quality of life includes meeting the most basic needs as well as improving quality of life,” according to Richardson’s column. “As generational shifts continue, programs like this not only provide insight into how those who will inherit our communities think, but they are also a proactive way to instill concepts of civic engagement and empowerment. promote the importance of giving of oneself in order to maintain a dynamic community. “

Richardson puts the Community Spirit Youth Giving Challenge into perspective, and the NNYCF is well suited to achieving the goals of the program. It’s a wonderful way to encourage students to think about what makes a good community and what they want this area to look like in the future.

Applications must be submitted online, postmarked or hand-delivered to NNYCF by November 19. Organizations eligible to receive $ 500 must be non-profit groups in Jefferson, Lewis, or St. Lawrence counties.

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