Giving Through Youth

What it is

The Giving Through Youth program began in 2015 in order to encourage community service and philanthropy among young people by engaging them in decision-making on the distribution of grant dollars.

Bolinas-Stinson School – Giving Through Youth 2017

In the last two years, thanks to the dedicated efforts of students and teachers in three schools in West Marin, as well as the generosity of community members, $19,000 was awarded in 35 grants to 26 nonprofit organizations for a range of interesting initiatives.

These include improving a sandbox at a local children’s center, providing headphones for young people involved in a local radio station, supporting senior lunches, and building a fence to protect community land.

Grants

How it works

The students, under the guidance of their creative teachers, research community needs through local nonprofits. They check web sites, meet the non-profit leaders, help identify what activities are needed and how much they will cost. The students make a presentation to the Giving Through Youth Grants Committee about which nonprofits they have selected and why they think it is important to provide support. They are able to “make it real” because the West Marin Fund is giving away “real” money in the forms of checks that are given to the students to pass on to the selected nonprofits.

The students meet board members and donors of the West Marin Fund. They are engaged and articulate about what they learn and the significance of their efforts to benefit others. They carry these important lessons with them as they go on to high school to continue their formal education while becoming conscientious and thoughtful citizens.