On April 28, 2021, Friends hosted its annual Youth Philanthropy Initiative (YPI). Over the last decade, Friends YPI has helped provide over $50,000 in grants to nonprofits in NYC. This service-learning initiative is part of the Friends Seminary Grade 9 history curriculum and serves as a capstone experience. Students’ teams were charged with selecting and researching a nonprofit that is addressing a social issue in NYC that is of concern to students. In conjunction with the Center for Peace, Equity and Justice's year-long theme, Confronting Systemic Racism: A Nation’s Call to Action, student teams selected nonprofits working to support communities of color.
Each team researched their nonprofit’s mission, history, programs, and impact. They learned how to use the organization’s 990s and annual reports for key information. They conducted virtual site visits and interviewed staff and clients of the nonprofits. In presentations to their peers, each team shared what they learned about the role the philanthropic sector plays in addressing social needs. Students and teachers determined out of the twenty-five teams, which ones should move forward to the final round.
In the last phase of this multi-step service-learning project, five finalist teams advocated for their nonprofits before a judges panel and community audience. At stake was a $5,000 grant awarded to the winning team’s nonprofit from the Toskan Casale Foundation, a second place grant from the Friends Administration of $1,000, and Parent Association grants to be awarded which included a third place grant of $500 and two remaining grants of $250 each. The audience helped determine all secondary grant recipients through a live poll.
The Center for Peace,Equity and Justice would like to give special thanks to teachers, Peter Kalajian and Stephon Richardson, who have done an incredible job of helping this annual initiative continue despite the setbacks Covid-19 posed. CPEJ would also like to thank the students for their flexibility and adaptability. Despite so much having to occur virtually, they still forged wonderful connections to nonprofits all across the city. Listed below are the grant recipients for the YPI 2021 grant competition.
$5,000 YPI Grant: The Children’s Health Fund
Student Team Members: Tara, Reza, Charlotte, Hayden, and Dahlia
$1,000 Friends Seminary Administrative Grant: East Harlem Tutorial Program
Student Team Members: Avery, Morgan, Van, Eli, and Spencer
$500 Parent Association Grant: Breaking Ground
Student Team Members: Nadey, Shayaan, Esme, and Sylvie
$250 Parent Association Grant: Blue Engine
Student Team Members: Alexa, Lila, Mayaa, and Scarlett
$250 Parent Association Grant: The Father Center of New Jersey
Student Team Members: Avery, Anika, and Lila