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 will recommend distribution of grant awards. This year, the IYWT Council will distribute up to $40,000 to community projects that benefit local youth.
|Apply Now for an IYWT Youth Grant||View IYWT Council 2022 - 2023 Schedule|
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.
Step One: review the IYWT Council Informational Letter
Step Two: Attend the IYWT Council Kickoff Meeting, held Saturday, September 17th, 2022, at 10:00 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 Friday, October 14th, 2022
Step Five: Applicants will be notified prior to the October 15th meeting of their acceptance.
The deadline for joining In Youth We Trust this year is October 1, 2022. If you’re interested in joining or have questions, contact Heather Rapp.
2022 – 2023 IYWT COUNCIL MEMBERS
Addysen Feng – Auburn High School
Isabella Enright – East High School
Mary Clare Cyrs – Boylan Central Catholic High School
2022 – 2023 EXECUTIVE COUNCIL
Maddie Seuring – President
2022 – 2023 COMMUNITY ADVISORS