United Way of Kenosha County (UWKC), mobilizing the caring power of our community, is excited to kickoff Youth As Resources (YAR) for the ’22-’23 funding cycle. YAR is a youth-led funding organization that grants annual awards to youth-designed community service projects in Kenosha County. YAR empowers youth to speak up for and address community needs.
This year’s YAR board members include nine youth members, representing grades 9-12 from across 8 local schools and two adult board members (ABM) with all executive officer positions being filled by student members. The program fosters complete youth involvement, including leading the approved service projects and reviewing and allocating grant funds. The current board members are:
Abbey Proctor Home Instruction, Grade 12 President
Lauren Palmieri St. Joseph Academy, Grade 11 Vice President
Jovan Joseph Logos Online School, Grade 9 Treasurer
Ella Sager Westosha Central, Grade 10 Secretary
Alison Voss Zion-Benton Township High School Parliamentarian (ABM)
Hera First Harborside Academy, Grade 10 Endowment Committee
Jacob Krumrie St. Joseph Academy, Grade 10 Endowment Committee
Madelynn Drissel Paris Consolidated, Grade 9
Tess Callahan Tremper High School, Grade 11
Nina Lall Bradford High School, Grade 11
Alejandria Galarza Kenosha Public Library (ABM)
Currently, YAR is accepting applications for youth-designed community service projects. Local youth in grades K-12 are encouraged to apply to receive up to $500 to complete their project. The deadline for students to apply for a YAR grant is on Tuesday, November 8th.
Last year, YAR, in conjunction with United Way of Kenosha County, and in partnership with University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension, awarded roughly five thousand dollars in funding towards 14 youth-led service projects. Previous youth service projects include Brass Community School Cleanups, Cub Scouts ELCA Winter Clothing Support, Southport Elementary Veterans Parade, Mahone Middle School Butterfly Garden, and many more.
“I am excited to begin my third year on the YAR Board as I continue to develop my leadership skills in my role as President, says Abbey Proctor, YAR President and twelfth grade student. “This year, the Board welcomed several new members who I know will have the same wonderful opportunity to grow in leadership and who will be able to bring new perspectives and goals to the program. We cannot wait to see what community service ideas the youth of Kenosha County come up with and present to the Board this year!”
Youth as Resources is made possible by a partnership between United Way of Kenosha County and University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension.
“Youth As Resources is an incredible opportunity for youth in our community to develop their skills while making a difference in the areas important to them,” says Erica Ness, positive youth development educator, at Extension Kenosha County. “This program is proof that youth are both our present and our future. They are ready to step up and lead now, and I am proud to coordinate a program that supports them to do so.”
“United Way of Kenosha County and University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension are excited to once again be partnering with Youth as Resources to help bring student ideas to life,” says Carolynn Friesch, chief executive officer at UWKC. “We look forward to being a part of the impact empowered youth make in our community this year.”
YAR is also currently seeking to add new adult board members. Responsibilities include attending the YAR board meetings on the third Tuesday of each month (September through May, excluding December) and participating in the decision-making process for giving grant awards to youth designed service projects. Adult board members must also participate in committee work to encourage grant applications and increase awareness of the YAR Board in the community. Adult board members are expected to take the lead from youth board members while guiding them as they learn skills related to professionalism and board management.
For more information, to get a grant application, or to get involved, visit: kenosha.extension.wisc.edu/youth/yar or contact Erica Ness at firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional pictures available upon request.
United Way of Kenosha County fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every person. For almost 100 years, UWKC has created positive change throughout Kenosha County by mobilizing the caring power of the community, improving lives, and striving for lasting, positive transformation. Through partnerships and collaborations, UWKC both supports local initiatives with an annual community investment process and manages programs such as Readers are Leaders, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, SingleCare Prescription Discounts and more.
Kenosha County Youth as Resources was developed out of a need – a need to make the youth of Kenosha County feel more connected to their community. YAR is youth-led board and a grant-giving program that funds youth-designed community service projects in Kenosha County. Youth, with guidance from adults, design projects to address a community need and apply to YAR grants, which are awarded up to $500 to fund supplies for the project. The Youth as Resources Board reads all applications, invites youth groups to present project proposals, and allocates funds. For more information, visit kenosha.extension.wisc.edu/youth/yar.