In youth We Trust logo over the text Announces Spring 2022 Youth Grant Recipients. Background is pastel colored hearts. Graphic of hands holding red heart shapes.

In Youth We Trust Awards $19,500 for Youth-Led Projects

In Youth We Trust, the youth philanthropy program of the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois, has announced the recipients of the 2022 IYWT Youth Grants cycle.

The IYWT Council awarded seven youth-led projects $19,500 for the benefit of youth in northern Illinois:

●    Auburn High School -Tennis Team | $500.00 | West Side Tennis Program 
●    Boys and Girls Club of Rockford | $3500.00 | Bring Your “A” Game 
●    Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois | $3500.00 | Tech Camp GSNI: Launching Girls’ Curiosity in STEM with a Hi-Tech MakerSpace
●    K Cancer Softball aka K Cancer Baseball NFP | $1500.00 | Meet and Greet Care Packages
●    Montessori Private Academy | $3500.00 | A Greener Future for MPA
●    Prevention and Intervention | $3500.00 | Media Works
●    Winnovation FIRST Robotics Team | $3500.00 | 3D Printers

Learn more about each of these projects below. 

This is the second of two grant cycles administered by the IYWT Council this year. The first cycle, which accepted proposals written by adults for projects benefiting youth, awarded nearly $20,000 to seven local organizations in January. 

To celebrate and honor the grant recipients, In Youth We Trust Council members will host a grants reception Thursday, May 12th, at 5:30 p.m. Join the fun at Midway Village! Hear from IYWT Council members, grant recipients, and more!

In Youth We Trust Council is made up of high-school-aged youth from across Northern Illinois. The program engages young people in community service and philanthropy. IYWT gives the council members resources and opportunities to help solve problems affecting their peers and their quality of life. IYWT Council Members set grant policy, review youth-inspired service project proposals, and recommend proposals for funding to CFNIL's Board of Directors. Since its inception IYWT has awarded nearly $550,000 for youth-led projects!

Grant Recipient Project Descriptions:

Auburn High School -Tennis Team | West Side Tennis Program | $500
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention advises kids ages 6-17 to engage in at least one hour of physical activity per day. The Auburn Tennis Team is planning an hour-long twice a week tennis session program with the intention to help kids meet the CDC recommendation while creating an environment to make new friendships and hobbies. Tennis rackets and balls are offered at Marshall Middle School. The tennis program will start in April and will continue until the middle of summer. Additionally, Auburn students will repair cracks in the tennis court in preparation for the program.

Boys and Girls Club of Rockford | Bring Your “A” Game | $3,500 
The “Bring Your A Game” is a violence prevention strategy to reduce violence and gang activity that will give high-school-age youth an opportunity to compete in a structured basketball league with uniforms, referees, coaches and trophies. Youth will play a sport during a time when some youth get involved in negative activity. Youth group participants have said boys need someone to talk to regarding life situations so the program will provide them a Coach/Mentor. The Coach would not only teach them about basketball but could also help them out of difficult situations and give them someone that could give them positive answers. 

Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois | Tech Camp GSNI: Launching Girls’ Curiosity in STEM with a Hi-Tech MakerSpace | $3,500
Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois (GSNI) will create a space where girls can be inspired by science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to make the world a better place. Girl Scouts has many new hi-tech badges like Robotics, Cybersecurity, Space Science, STEM Career Exploration, Engineering, and Computer Science and GSNI will build a hi-tech MakerSpace at Camp McCormick located in Stillman Valley near Rockford. The MakerSpace would have robotics, laptops, coding, snap circuits, circuit soldering, laser engravers, embroiderers, a telescope, and rocketry.

K Cancer Softball aka K Cancer Baseball NFP | Meet and Greet Care Packages | $1,500
Each care package goes to a family involved in the program. The care packages are customizable to the needs of the family but typically consist of items such as gas cards and food gift cards.

Montessori Private Academy | A Greener Future for MPA | $3,500
This project will lessen the carbon footprint of the school by employing new environmental measures to the outdoor space, such as growing fresh produce by building multiple hoop houses and garden boxes, installing and operating a top-of-the-line crank-style composter, collecting water in rain barrels, and using produce to provide neighbors at the Anamcare Alzheimer’s facility and MPA families with fresh vegetables free of pesticides, grown by students.

Prevention and Intervention | Media Works | $3,500
Media Works is inspired by the concept of media and art being a solution to the problems that children in high-risk neighborhoods or situations might face every day. The project is named Media Works because of the belief that media will work in using a prevention strategy while creating positive change within our community. This grant will be used to purchase equipment to start a podcast to discuss solutions to youth violence and substance abuse.

Winnovation FIRST Robotics Team | 3D Printers | $3,500 
During the robotics season, fabricating parts can be time consuming and expensive. To lower cost and make parts in a more efficient way, Winnovation will purchase 3D printers to make parts. When robots are built, team members make everything themselves. Each year there is a new game which requires a new robot, which can cost upwards of $5,000. The team has limited funds so to cut costs will take advantage of the ever-evolving 3D printer technology. The team will purchase three 3D printers to fabricate parts, which will decrease the cost as well as the time it takes to manufacture and assemble the robot.