Local Youth Learn About Philanthropy

Posted on December 19, 2017

BHF is now giving our youth a strong voice for change through the Coatesville Area Youth Philanthropy program (CAYPP).  This program gets youth involved with the community at the most basic levels – finding areas of need and working to fill those needs through philanthropy.

Here is a look at how the program works with a report from Alyson Ferguson, CAYPP Program Manager, followed by a first-hand report from one of our returning student participants, Julian Mauer.

Coatesville Area Youth Philanthropy Program (CAYPP)

Aly Ferguson, Program Manager, The Scattergood Foundation

This is the second year of program.  They have $15,000 per year to distribute through a generous gift from Citadel.  We have about 14 participants this year, including some from last year who provided institutional memory and mentoring.  As the facilitator and trainer for CAYPP, my role is to help the participants learn about the role of nonprofits, and how to evaluate each one’s role and mission.

First, they went into community to determine the community needs, and then selected nonprofits to review.  As part of the process, the participants determined if the nonprofit’s mission matched the focus area they had chosen.  They followed up with site visits. They originally looked at six organizations, then narrowed the group to four.

This year we were able to conduct a more in-depth review of organizations, and were able to make a more thoughtful review of the applicants.  I had conversations with kids about what groups were out there supporting which causes, what is being done well in the community, and where are the gaps.  They compiled a list of themes they were hearing, and determined where the gaps were, and what the significant issues were in Coatesville. 

They realized that many issues are being handled by state local and school organizations.  However, they found there was no LGBTQ health education program.  The LGBTQ population was not identified or called out with service providers, and there was no local support for LGBTQ health issues.  Students handled discussions of this sensitive topic in a very mature way.  Parents were at first worried, then amazed and supportive at the maturity displayed by CAYPP participants

At the end of the deliberations, they made two gifts of $7,500 each, as follows:

1) Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center for That Ass Tho!: An LGBT Sexual Health Campaign to Increase Anal Cancer Screening Rates in the LGBT Community

2)Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania for SPOT (Space to be Proud, Open, & Together) for LGBTQ Youth in Chester County

Julian Mauer, 11th Grade, CAYPP participant

We had the chance to make significant grants and to make a direct impact on the community.  We were given a chance to speak our minds about real-world issues here in Coatesville.   Young people usually aren’t involved with some of these issues, and having open-minded discussions with peers and others about issues gave us a chance to speak our minds.

We know the area and the problems.  Even in the second year, the experience is still fresh, and I’m still learning new things.  We learned how to approach a problem, especially if it involved a social ill or a service gap.

The whole process was cool and Interesting, and of course very new to us.  As a new experience, it opened our eyes to the concepts of “grants” and “real money – money is more than people doing their taxes!

Then, we had a chance to see the impact.  We live here, and we got to go to the grantees and see the changes from the grants.  It was exciting and rewarding to help people directly.”