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2017 Youth Philanthropy Interns

Three Johnstown-based projects will share $50,000 in funding distributed by Youth Philanthropy Interns with the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies.

Interns are local, college-bound, high school graduates. They spent 8 weeks with the Community Foundation this summer, getting a first-hand look at local nonprofit needs, organization, and funding. Interns made site visits, interviewed civic leaders and grass roots organizers, and met with local politicians and business leaders to assess community needs and the areas in which the interns believed they could have the greatest impact.

Youth Philanthropy Interns worked in two teams to create two Requests for Proposals, each worth $25,000. Click here to read all about their RFPs.

“Claim the AlleGAINies” team: Adeline Mishler, Kelsey Hunsberger, Senior Intern Olivia Oravec, Aiden Stuart, and Ethan Wingard with Steve Jones from the Greater Johnstown/Cambria County Chamber of Commerce

The “Claim your AlleGAINies” team awarded their entire $25,000 to a joint project of the Greater Johnstown/Cambria County Chamber of Commerce Foundation and Johnstown’s Vision2025.

The Chamber of Commerce Foundation and V2025 will use the funds to spearhead a youth engagement program that will aid local youth in getting more involved in our community, whether civically, academically, extracurricularly, or in service. This program empowers youth to take ownership of their community and make the necessary differences our area needs, all while helping to combat the negative image and stigma our community holds.

“Branching OUT” team: Alexis Buncich, Ayanna Sellers, Justin Rovder, and Nicole Wright, led by Senior Intern JT Durica, with Bottleworks Director Laura Argenbright

The “Branching OUT” team divided $25,000 between two organizations – $6,500 to Johnstown Tomahawks Foundation and $18,500 to the Bottle Works Ethnic Arts Center. Both projects are aimed at bringing to our region a greater understanding of different cultures.

The Johnstown Tomahawks Foundation will use the funding to introduce their fans and local schools to international cultures, both of their players and throughout the world. They will hold a monthly “Cultural Awareness Night” during home games. They will promote these nights through school visits, cultural elements added to their marketing campaign, and co-branded cultural giveaways.

The Bottle Works Ethnic Arts Center will use funding to expand workshops and add cultural programs. The funding will also be used to expand on their ethnic dinners, to offer them monthly and include a shared cuisine, along with an introduction into the customs and culture surrounding the meal. They also hope to incorporate an ethnic shop based on fair-trade of international goods.

Working with the Saturday Light Brigade, interns created a series of radio documentaries about everything they learned and their reflections on this region. You can find those here.

In the five years the Community Foundation has hosted Youth Philanthropy Interns, young people have put nearly $250,000 into worthwhile local programs, provided by The Heinz Endowments.

Program and Communications Officer Angie Berzonski organizes and oversees the CFA’s Youth Philanthropy Intern program. “This is an exciting day, not only for these students, but for our entire community as we celebrate the impact of Youth Philanthropy and the opportunity to prioritize what they see as our biggest needs,” says Berzonski. “Interns could have requested proposals to fund any type of project or program they wanted. It ultimately came down to what they thought could help to make the biggest difference in our region with the limited resources available to them.”

The Community Foundation would like to thank The Heinz Endowments for its generous financial support. We’d also like to thank the many community and business leaders who have shared their time and experiences with our interns. And we’d like to thank the interns themselves for their commitment to making this region a better place to live and work.

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