What Are the Youth in Action Grants?
Youth in Action is a program of the Youth Leadership Exchange (which is a program of Leadership Oklahoma City) in which local high school students
- identify community needs,
- solicit proposals from organizations working in the identified need area for funding,
- select proposals to fund,
- raise matching funds for the projects, and
- make the grants to the selected agencies.
The purpose of Youth in Action is to teach the participants about community service by having them act as a mini-foundation to fund community improvement. The students learn meeting management and fund-raising skills, among others, and are better prepared to volunteer in their communities in substantive way.
In order to make the processes the class uses and decisions they reach “real,” actual grants are given by the class to local organizations. Up to $7500 is donated to one or more agencies by the Youth in Action class. Leadership Oklahoma City seeds the program with $2500 towards the funding, and the youth raise about another $5000 from the business community, allowing them to fund a total of $7500 in community efforts.
Past Recipients of YIA Grants include Deaconess Adoption and Pregnancy Center (new furniture for waiting room and materials for classes), City Rescue Mission (musical instruments for the teen center), the Oklahoma County Juvenile Center (funding for a life skills program), The Children’s Center (a handheld computer for communication by non-verbal children), Boys and Girls Clubs of Oklahoma County (funding for the Smart Moves drug resistance program), The Care Center (money to refurbish the playground and to fund non-critical medical exams), Positive Tomorrows (computer work stations).