Calling All Non-profits: Youth Philanthropists Extend Grant Deadline
Published: February 12th, 2010
By: Melissa Stagnaro

Calling all non-profits: Youth Philanthropists extend grant deadline

NORWICH – Local non-profit organizations hoping to secure a portion of the $10,000 Norwich High School’s Youth Philanthropy Council will be awarding this year will have a few extra days to put the finishing touches on their grant applications.

“We’ve extended our deadline to Tuesday, February 16,” explained Susan Fertig, who serves as the student organization’s advisor. The original deadline required all applications be filed by this Friday.

Now in its second year, the program is a collaboration between Norwich High School, the Upstate Institute at Colgate University, Chenango United Way and The Community Foundation for South Central New York.

This year the Youth Philanthropy council has been limited to 10 participants, all upperclassmen. In order to be selected to participate, students had to first complete a rigorous application process, which were reviewed by a selection committee before a final selection was made.

Junior Katie Orioli is one of six new student participants on the Youth Philanthropy Council. She said she was prompted to apply for the program because of “all the work (the group) does that involves the community.”

During the first half of the school year, Orioli and the other participants learned about non-profit organizations, philanthropy and the needs of the community through a series of seminars. These after-school meetings guest speakers from Colgate University, The Community Foundation and United Way.

The group also volunteered during United Way’s Day of Caring, an experience which Senior Nathan Biviano said taught them that it wasn’t just money that these organizations need.

Biviano said he chose to get involved with the philanthropic program because with his busy schedule, he struggled to find “time to give back to the community” on his own. Participating in the council has allowed him to contribute to worthy causes without compromising his academics or other involvements during his senior year.

Now, during the second semester the Youth Philanthropy Council is acting as a working foundation. The group received $5,000 from both the United Way and The Community Foundation, and has $10,000 to distribute to worthy programs serving the Chenango County’s population.

“Last year was a really great experience in which the students distributed moneys to very needy and worthwhile community non-profits,” said Superintendent Gerard O’Sullivan, who is a strong proponent of the philanthropic program.

The programs which received grants in the first round of funding were the Parents as Teachers program at Catholic Charities of Chenango County; the Parents as Leaders program at the Mothers and Babies Perinatal Network; and The Place’s New York State Experience program.

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