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 For an IYWT Youth Grant||View IYWT Council 2023 - 2024 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.
What are the IYWT Council Member Responsibilities? Check out the Attendance Policy and Code of Conduct
Mark your calendar for the IYWT Info Bash on Saturday, August 19th, 2023, from 11-1. Anyone interested in learning more about becoming a member or receiving a grant can stop by the CFNIL backyard (946 N. 2nd Street, Rockford). We’ll have snacks, music, and yard games. Come get to know current members, ask questions you might have, and meet other youth who want to make an impact on their community!
Applying is as easy as 1, 2, 3:
Step One: review the IYWT Council Informational Letter and the 2023 - 2024 IYWT Calendar to make sure you would be able to attend most of the meetings.
Step Two: Complete and submit the membership application and a letter of recommendation no later than Wednesday, September 6th, 2023.
Step Three: Applicants will be notified by the end of the day on September 8th and should be ready to attend the IYWT Council Kickoff Meeting on Saturday, September 16th, 2023, at 9:00 a.m.
The deadline for joining In Youth We Trust this year is September 6th, 2023. If you’re interested in joining or have questions, contact our staff advisor Heather Rapp.
2023 – 2024 IYWT COUNCIL MEMBERS
|Addysen Feng – Auburn High School|
Ainsley Bridge – Boylan Central Catholic High School
Alex Marshall – Hononegah High School
Charley Hatch – Boylan Central Catholic High School
Eleanor Fane – Hononegah High School
|Isabella Enright – East High School|
Katie Trenhaile – Boylan Central Catholic High School
Kayla White – Boylan Central Catholic High School
Lucas Manaligod – Auburn High School
Luke Manthuruthil – Boylan Central Catholic High School
|Mary Clare Cyrs – Boylan Central Catholic High School|
Rissa Donnelli – Boylan Central Catholic High School
Stella Garcia Ragaller – Hononegah High School
2023 – 2024 EXECUTIVE COUNCIL
Luke Manthuruthil – President
2023 – 2024 COMMUNITY ADVISORS