MetroWest students are seeing what it’s like to be philanthropists and, in return, are learning more about the programs and organizations that help their communities.
The Natick-based Foundation for MetroWest’s Youth in Philanthropy program has awarded $67,400 to local, nonprofit organizations that serve youth. The grants were awarded on May 23.
The program is offered to all MetroWest students with classes in Natick, Sudbury, and Concord. It is designed to help students develop the knowledge and skills to become community leaders by learning about the nonprofit sector and the importance of giving back to the community.
According to foundation representative Bree Simmers, the philanthropy program consists of 116 middle and high school students.
Funding for the program is provided by Foundation for MetroWest donors and The Sudbury Foundation.
Members of the philanthropy program must undergo an interview process by the foundation before they join. The students elect their own board of trustees and review requests for grant monies by local nonprofits.
Students also visit the nonprofits and have an opportunity to interview applicants to learn more about them. “These students visit the nonprofits … talk to them and ask them, ‘Describe your budget, how will you use the money, how does this help the youth of the MetroWest?’” said Simmers.
Students then decide how to divide the grant money, and then present that decision to the foundation’s board of directors, which ultimately approves the grants.
“These students have to be secure enough in their decision to come before the board, which is made up of business and non-profit leaders,” Simmers said.
“Youth in Philanthropy empowers youth to make a direct philanthropic impact in their community,” said Judith Salerno, executive director of Foundation for MetroWest, in a statement. “Through our Youth in Philanthropy program, the students learn valuable skills that will lay the groundwork for sustaining our communities in the future.”
Grant recipients include:
Boys & Girls Club of Assabet Valley - $2,000
Buddy Dog - $3,500
Chesterbrook Community Foundation - $5,000
Children’s Island - $1,000
Decibels Foundation - $1,800
Everybody Wins MetroBoston - $4,500
Eye of the Storm Equine Rescue - $1,875
Heading Home - $3,500
Home for Little Wanderers - $2,640
Jeff’s Place - $3,360
John Andrew Mazzie Memorial Foundation - $4,600
Land’s Sake - $2,500
Massachusetts Horticultural Society - $2,000
Med and Food for Kids - $1,500
Minute Man Arc for Human Services - $2,000
More than Words - $3,000
Needham Community Farm - $3,000
Razia’s Ray of Hope Foundation - $1,250
Rediscovery - $2,500
Resiliency for Life - $2,000
The Discovery Museums - $2,500
The Food Project - $1,875
Waypoint Adventure - $5,000
West Suburban Alliance for Gay and Lesbian Youth (WAGLY) - $4,500
For more information, visit www.foundationformetrowest.org.