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The Community Foundation for the Alleghenies’ 2016 class of Youth Philanthropy Interns have been busy assessing community needs through research, site visits, and interviews. Through this process, they have determined several needs that they would like to help address. One is a need for educating local youth about the dangers of drugs while simultaneously helping them get involved elsewhere in the community. The second is to encourage the community to take full advantage of the abundant recreational opportunities in the region. Therefore, they have released two Requests for Proposals to fund projects that could be implemented in Bedford, Cambria, and/or Somerset counties.

  1. The Rec the Alleghenies Initiative (Rec It!) intends to inspire healthy life choices by promoting outdoor recreational activities in our region. It will do so by introducing people of all ages to the abundant natural activities available throughout our area ranging from trails to rivers to other natural hotspots. They hope to provide an understanding and respect for our natural surroundings, as well as foster the spirit of recreation and appreciation of the outdoors. They hope to give both residents and visitors a more positive outlook on our community by focusing on our environment’s natural aspects. Click here to download a copy of the “Rec It” RFP.
  2. Explore Opportunities seeks to provide middle school children (primarily ages 10 to 14) in the tri-county area with a school program to better educate them on the dangers and risks of drugs. The average age of onset for the experimentation with drugs is 15. Therefore, Explore Opportunities is targeting children at an early age to curb this experimentation. Coinciding with this program, Explore Opportunities wishes to promote alternatives to doing drugs, with the introduction of hobbies, sports, part-time jobs, and other activities. The drug problem is vile and real. With Cambria County having the 3rd highest number of overdose deaths per capita in the state of Pennsylvania, this program will hopefully influence young kids to make better choices. Click here to download a copy of the “Explore Opportunities” RFP.

The deadline for proposals to be submitted to the Foundation is August 4 at midnight. Proposals will be evaluated by the teams of interns along with Foundation staff, and will culminate with a grant announcement and check presentation on August 11 at the Community Foundation’s Founders’ Day celebration at Windber Rec Park. Organizations that are IRS-designated as 501(c)3, as well as governmental entities from Bedford, Cambria, and Somerset counties, may submit proposals.

The funding for this project is made possible through a grant from The Heinz Endowments, which supports efforts to make southwestern Pennsylvania a premier place to live and work, a center for learning and educational excellence, and a region that embraces diversity and inclusion.

There are two teams of 2016 Youth Philanthropy Interns. One team is led by Kate McGrath and includes: JT Durica, Megan Paonessa, Max Myers, and Emily Sayler. The other team is led by David Saylor and includes: Marshal Engleka, Olivia Oravec, Nicholas Yost, and Emily Brazill.



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