In Youth We Trust Council

Youth granting youth the power to lead and change our community.

In Youth We Trust is a youth philanthropy program of the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois. Established with a grant from the Ford Foundation in 1994 and endowed by a local donor, this program teaches grantmaking, volunteerism, and leadership skills to today’s youth, preparing them to be the positive change of tomorrow.

The In Youth We Trust Council is made up of high-school-age youth from Boone, Ogle, Stephenson, and Winnebago Counties. Council members engage in direct community service** as well as philanthropy; the Council is directly involved in the In Youth We Trust Grant Program administration. They help set grant policy, review youth inspired service project proposals, and recommend distribution this year of up to $40,000 in grants to selected youth projects. The IYWT Council looks for projects that are led by youth and that benefit youth, providing financial support to opportunities that help solve problems affecting their peers and the quality of life of youth in our communities.

Interested in learning more about IYWT? Attend the annual Kickoff Meeting to meet current Council members and learn more about what IYWT is all about! The annual Kickoff Meeting will be held Saturday, September 19, at 9:00 a.m. via Zoom. It is anticipated that most meetings will be offered virtually this year, which means that whether you live in Rockford, Freeport, Belvidere, or Rochelle, your "commute time" to meetings will be the same! 

Ready to be a part of IYWT? 

View the full 2020 - 2021 Schedule      Apply Now

**During the 2020-2021 IYWT program year in-person activities and volunteering may not be possible due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Check out the 2020 IYWT Council Membership Flyer!

In 1993, the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois was one of 20 community foundations selected by the Ford Foundation to be part of a program called Changing Communities: Diverse Needs. The Foundation suggested to Ford that the best way to bring a community together was to bring youth together.

In the summer of 1994, the Community Foundation gathered a diverse group of youth inspired by the notion that youth could partner with other youth to improve their community. The In Youth We Trust grant program began in 1995 and since then, the In Youth We Trust Council has recommended the distribution of over $500,000 to local youth led organizations.

The In Youth We Trust Council, made up of high-school-age youth from across the region, engages young people in community service and philanthropy by giving them resources and opportunities to help solve problems affecting their peers and their quality of life.

In Youth We Trust Council members are directly involved in the In Youth We Trust Grant Program. They help set grant policy, review youth inspired service project proposals, and recommend distribution of up to $40,000 this year in grants to selected youth projects.

The IYWT Council meets approximately one Saturday morning a month during the school year. As part of the IYWT grant process each year, In Youth We Trust Council members review grant applications for youth projects, evaluate the applications, and interview the applicants. In addition to participating in the grant review program, members take part in many community-building activities** including volunteer work and planning community events for youth.

In addition to attending required meetings and activities, IYWT Council members:

  • Learn and understand the purpose of IYWT and the mission of the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois;
  • Learn grantmaking guidelines and procedures;
  • Prepare for and participate in grant review meetings;
  • Evaluate applications based on guidelines, community impact, and budget;
  • Identify and inform the IYWT Council of the needs of youth in the community;
  • Advocate for the IYWT program. 

**During the 2020-2021 IYWT program year in-person activities and volunteering may not be possible due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Step One: review the IYWT Council Informational Letter
Step Two: Attend the IYWT Council Kickoff Meeting, held VIRTUALLY on Saturday, September 19th, 2020, at 9:00 a.m.
Step Three: Decide you’re willing and able to attend most meetings and activities
Step Four: Complete and submit the membership application by October 1st and submit a letter of recommendation no later than October 8th, 2020
Step Five: Applicants will be notified prior to the October 17th meeting of their acceptance.

The deadline for joining In Youth We Trust this year is October 1, 2020. If you’re interested in joining and have questions, contact Ciara Stahly.

2019 – 2020 IYWT COUNCIL MEMBERS

Charlie Andres – Belvidere North High School
Aryan Arora – Auburn High School
Lindsay Arreguin – Boylan High School
Casey Bohn – Hononegah High School
Abbey Buchanan – Rockford Lutheran High School
Ariana Castillo – Harlem High School
Trell Chapman – Legacy Academy of Excellence
David Consuelos – Boylan High School
Jaida Cunningham – Rockford Lutheran High School

Talon Drake – Hononegah High School
Clayton Drake – Hononegah High School
Ella Ellingson – North Boone High School
Finn Enright – Boylan Catholic High School
Niles Hite – Rockford Lutheran High School
Crystal Lee – Boylan High School
Nadhia Manthuruthil – Boylan Catholic High School
Shannon Mastey – Hononegah High School
Natalie Muldowney – Boylan High School

Angel Nasanbuyam – Boylan High School
Amari Richardson – Guilford High School
Jalen Richardson – Guilford High School
Maddie Seuring – Rockford Christian High School
DJ Trenhaile – Boylan High School
Shreya Vattem – Hononegah High School
Jazmine White – Guilford High School
Adalia Yeung – Rockford Lutheran High School

2019 – 2020 EXECUTIVE COUNCIL

Aryan Arora – President
Nadhia Manthuruthil – Secretary
Adalia Yeung – Marketing Chair
Amari Richardson – Volunteer Chair

2019 – 2020 COMMUNITY ADVISORS

Joanna Bares
Derek Dreier
Annie Hobson
M. Beth Thacker

IYWT 25th Anniversary Logo

 

In Youth We Trust, the youth philanthropy program of the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois, has been promoting leadership, volunteerism, and philanthropy with youth in northern Illinois since 1994.

Questions? Interested in learning more about IYWT? Contact Ciara!

Ciara Stahly
Ciara Stahly
Program Officer, Staff Liaison to IYWT Council
Phone: 779-210-8209
Email: Ciara Stahly