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For the fifth year, the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies is hosting two teams of Youth Philanthropy Interns. Over the past four weeks, they have been busy assessing community needs through research, site visits, and interviews. In doing so, they have determined several needs that they would like to help address. One is a need to establish a sense of ownership and connection between young people of the Alleghenies and the area in which they live in order to encourage a positive perspective. The other is a need for more cultural awareness within the region. Therefore, the interns have released two Requests for Proposals to fund projects that could be implemented in Bedford, Cambria, Indiana, and/or Somerset counties.

The “Claim the AlleGAINies” team is focused on encouraging a more positive perspective of the region, in order to drown out the negativity that they believe is hindering revitalization. The interns believe young people often have a hard time identifying their place in the community and do not see the community as an essential part of who they are. The ultimate goal is for young people to feel connected, to discover their community, and to empower them to claim it as their own. Click here to download a copy of the “Claim the AlleGAINies” RFP.

The “Branching Out” team intends to promote cultural awareness in the region through immersion in and education about different countries, cultures, and customs. Because many residents do not have the opportunity to travel outside of the area, we hope to bring the world to them through educational programming. Through these experiences, we plan on engaging both individuals and businesses, preparing them for our modern, globally connected world. Click here to download a copy of the “Branching Out” RFP.

The deadline for proposals to be submitted to the Foundation is August 3 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 at a time and location to be determined on August 10. Organizations that are IRS-designated as 501(c)3, as well as governmental entities from Bedford, Cambria, Indiana and/or 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 2017 Youth Philanthropy Interns. One team is led by Olivia Oravec and includes: Aiden Stuart, Kelsey Hunsberger, Ethan Wingard, and Adeline Mishler. The other team is led by JT Durica and includes: Ayanna Sellers, Justin Rovder, Nikki Wright, and Alexis Buncich.

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