Text at left reads: Announcing: 2023 IYWT Youth Grants Recipients. Graphic of a glowing light bulb in the middle. At right, icons of a tennis court, school uniforms, and a robot

In Youth We Trust Council announced 2023 Youth Grant Recipients

In Youth We Trust, the youth philanthropy program of the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois, has announced the recipients of the 2023 IYWT Youth Grants cycle. Three youth-led groups will receive financial support for their projects which benefit their peers.

The three groups and the projects for which they were awarded are as follows:

  • Auburn High School Key Club: $500 for “Marshall for Mental Health”, a collaborative project with students from Marshall Middle School to continue repairs and improvements to Marshall’s tennis courts.
  • Flaming Monkeys 4H Robotics: $3,500 for “Engaging Youth wish Robotics through Experiential Learning via STEM”, to purchase new computers for their team members and outreach events.
  • Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council: $3,500 for “School Uniforms”, working with Rockford’s six public middle schools to provide components of the schools’ uniforms for students and families who are unable to supply them on their own. 

Learn more about each of these projects below.

“The In Youth We Trust youth grants are unique, because the application is completed by youth themselves,” said Maddie Seuring, a senior at Auburn High School and current IYWT Council President. “It’s an honor for Council members to review proposals and be able to award these grants which will directly support our peers across the region.”

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. This year the IYWT Grant Programs will distribute up to $40,000 for youth-benefiting projects in the region. IYWT Council Members set grant policy, review youth-inspired service project proposals, and recommend proposals for funding to CFNIL's Board of Trustees. Since its inception in 1994 In Youth We Trust has awarded more than $550,000 for youth-led projects! 

2023 IYWT Youth Grant Recipient Project Descriptions:

Marshall for Mental Health
Auburn High School Key Club
Exercise has been shown to reduce stress, and youths who play tennis on a regular basis have higher self-esteem and optimism. Currently, Marshall Middle School Tennis Team has a respectable number of players even though they are a smaller school. However, the tennis courts have cracked over time. Last summer an IYWT grant was used to buy cement and fill in those cracks. While it was a success, the blacktop filler lines still need to be painted with the corresponding court colors. This new grant will be used to buy paint and rollers in order to go over the black lines. Volunteers from Auburn Key Club and Marshall Builders Club will complete this work. The paint will be tennis court colors and may help deter the breakdown of the cement filler. While this may take several days of work, we are confident the job will be done due to many interested volunteers and the successful completion of last year's project. Once again, we have the support and guidance of a former Auburn Coach, Coach Ray Kelly.

Engaging Youth with Robotics through Experiential Learning via STEM
Flaming Monkeys 4H Robotics
The Flaming Monkeys team has provided a vast array of community outreach projects and helped members learn helpful skills. Youth team members elect officers, make a plan for the year, and assign duties and responsibilities to ensure that plan can be carried out. Veteran members and mentors train new/newer members in areas including math, physics, trades, teamwork, leadership, and time management. The team also practices new skills and puts them to use building robots in preparation for competition. The team also volunteers with other community organizations, and participate in fun team building activities. This grant will help the team buy new computers to use during their programs and outreach.

School Uniforms
Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council
The Council reached out to parent liaisons from the six Rockford public middle schools to determine what uniform components are most needed at each building and researched the best options for the needed items. This research and comparison shopping has ensured the grant dollars will be used efficiently and equitably to provide what each school most needs. 

Learn more about In Youth We Trust Council