With great excitement, YVC is thrilled to announce the YVC Cornerstone Grant winners!
The cornerstone is the first stone set in the construction of a foundation, determining the future and stability of the entire structure. The aim of this grant funding is to provide affiliates a “cornerstone” to build upon. Cornerstone grantees receive a $20,000 investment in building successful and sustainable programs in their communities that will reach even more youth volunteers than ever. Totaling to $100,000, this is the single largest grant opportunity ever offered by Youth Volunteer Corps to date. We are thrilled to recognize the following affiliates, each proven leaders in our network and excelling in unique ways.
YVC of Ann Arbor, MI: Program director, Abbey Davis, has a great vision for the program and was named YVC Ambassador of the Year at Summit 2017. YVC of Ann Arbor is hosted by the YMCA and has been apart of the YVC Network for many years. Ann Arbor leads the network in social justice and service learning, always engaging youth volunteers in quality, intentional discussion and reflection. YVC of Ann Arbor consistently prioritizes strong youth engagement and leadership.
YVC of Charleston, SC: This year, YVC of Charleston had a 71% increase in number of projects and 42% increase in total hours served, and this growth shows how popular the program has become! Program Director, Jennifer Gorham, was awarded YVC Program Director of the year at Summit 2017. While YVC of Charleston has only been part of the YVC family since 2015, the program sets a great example for the entire network, receiving positive media attention and building solid connections in the community. YVC of Charleston will be the host of Summit 2018!
YVC of Danbury, CT: YVC of Danbury was recognized as the Affiliate of the Year at the 2017 Summit – another strong example of excellence in the YVC Network. The Youth Advisory Board (YAB) helps lead ice breakers, team builders, call agencies and prep projects. Four YVC of Danbury youth volunteers were recognized for their contribution to the community by being nominated by the United Way as Emerging Heroes.
YVC of Des Moines, IA: This year, YVC of Des Moines had an 88% increase in projects which resulted in a 136% increase in total volunteer hours. They were recognized for winning the Project of the Year award at Summit 2017. Service learning is highly valued at YVC of Des Moines which makes their projects top notch. YVC of Des Moines stays creative in their recruitment efforts and even allows youth to sign up for projects via Snapchat.
YVC of Reading, PA: YVC of Reading was recognized as the New Affiliate of the Year at the 2017 Summit. They are a young program in the YVC network but have wasted no time in executing high level programming. Much of Reading’s programming is offered in-school and after-school and with an eye toward expanding the number of weekend projects offered.
The impact of the Cornerstone Grant will reach well beyond these five communities. The aim of this investment is to increase the total number of youth volunteers, service hours and construction-related service projects across our entire network.
According to Forbes Magazine, “For the last three years, the hardest segment of the workforce for employers to staff with skilled talent hasn’t been registered nurses or engineers or even web developers. It’s been the skilled trades – the welders, electricians, machinists, etc. that are so prevalent in manufacturing and construction.” Undoubtedly, interest in the construction industry will grow among youth volunteers participating on these projects across North America. YVC programs across the network are creating opportunities and experiences that impact both community members and youth volunteers alike. This unique and exciting opportunity allows YVC youth volunteers to address community needs and to inspire youth for a lifetime commitment to service! Congratulations to each of our Cornerstone Grant winners. We are proud of you!
This funding opportunity was made possible by the Sunderland Foundation.