Isaac Morales believes youth today are more involved in their communities than ever before. “They don’t just voice themselves anymore, they take action.” Isaac is one of 29 high school students who participate in The Community Foundation Serving Riverside & San Bernardino’s Youth Grantmakers Committee.
The program, launched in 2008, involves them in funding grants for local nonprofit organizations. Earlier this year, twenty seven nonprofits submitted grant applications with detailed project proposals. They were reviewed by the youth grantmakers, who wanted to help teens dealing with important issues facing young people today. Nine nonprofits were chosen to receive a total of $20,000. “The goal is to teach young people about the tradition of philanthropy,” said Celia Cudiamat, the foundation’s Vice President of Grant Programs. “We want to increase their awareness about people outside the confines of their own neighborhood, improve their skills in conflict resolution and communications, increase their knowledge about grantmaking, nonprofits and foundations, and teach them leadership and civic skills. We hope the end result is to increase their interest and involvement in their community.”
Isaac, who will be serving on the committee again next year, summed it up like this: “Youth grantmakers committee is an outlet for us to not only have a voice, but to also have a direct impact with the resources provided to us. While serving as youth grantmakers, we become leaders, we become liaisons, we become philanthropists, but most importantly, we take action.”