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Announcing the 2023 Youth Philanthropy Initiative Grant Recipients


On April 26 during the Day of Service, Friends hosted its annual Youth Philanthropy Initiative (YPI) presentation. Friends Seminary’s Center for Peace, Equity and Justice in collaboration with the History Department, has been provided this opportunity to engage our students in the philanthropic sector through a program created by the Toskan Casale Foundation. YPI is an international multi-award-winning youth service program that has directed over $20 million in grants to nonprofits across the United States, Canada, England, and Scotland. Through Friends Seminary’s partnership with YPI over the last 14 years, students have connected to over 80 NYC nonprofits and have been able to award over $75K in grants to winning organizations. This service-learning initiative is part of the Friends Seminary Grade 9 history curriculum and serves as a capstone experience for our ninth grade students. 

For this important project, students were divided into teams and charged with selecting and researching a nonprofit organization that is addressing a social issue in New York City that is of concern to the students. Each team researched their nonprofit’s mission, history, programs, and impact. They have learned how to use the organization’s 990s and annual reports for key information. They conducted in-person and virtual site visits and interviewed staff and clients of the nonprofits. In presentations to their peers, each team shared what they have learned about the role the philanthropic sector plays in addressing social needs. Students and teachers collectively determined which of the teams should move forward to the final round.

In the last phase of this multi-step service-learning project, seven finalist teams advocated for their nonprofits to their classmates and other members of the community. At stake was a $5,000 grant awarded to the winning team’s nonprofit from the Toskan Casale Foundation. Two runner up teams were awarded grants of $1,000 each for their nonprofits. These two grants are generously supported by the Friends Administration and Parents Association. A panel of judges, which included, student, and Friends community members that have experience in philanthropic organizations helped determine the final round’s grant winner. The audience helped determine two secondary grant recipients.

Teachers Stephon Richardson and Neil Desa did an incredible job of leading this important annual initiative, teaching ninth grade students about the nonprofit sector, the crucial work these groups are doing in our communities, and supporting their students in their research and presentations. 

Friends Seminary is pleased to announce our 2023 grant recipients:

A $5,000 grant was awarded to Green City Force represented by Ian ‘26, Michael ‘26, and Maliha ‘26. 
This nonprofit enlists and trains young people from low income housing communities for a new and more equitable economy. They equip individuals with the tools to change the trajectory of their lives and access good jobs. Corps Members develop a passion for sustainability and service through driving large-scale environmental and health initiatives in public housing and other frontline communities. They design service as a path to greater well being and means to enlist young people to become contributors and leaders in the movement to build a greener, fairer and more just world. Graduates of the program go on to jobs or college, directly or through alumni initiatives that build towards sectoral jobs and apprenticeships, via social enterprise contracts or advanced training developed with employers.

A $1,000 grant from the Friends Administration was awarded to St. John's Bread & Life represented by Jefferis ‘26, Bode ‘26, Clara ‘26, and Ray ‘26.
Their mission is to respect the dignity and rights of all persons by ensuring access to healthy, nutritious food and comprehensive human services resulting in self-sufficiency and stability. This nonprofit organization provides a warm and welcoming environment for all guests providing a wide array of  comprehensive services, easy access and helping individuals and families move from crisis situations to greater permanency. 

A $1,000 grant from the Parents Association was awarded to The Children's Storefront represented by Annika ‘26, Maisie ‘26, Gianna ‘26, and Adam ‘26.
The Children’s Storefront works with families to promote healthy brain development in children’s first thousand days of life (birth to three years), building a strong foundation for lifelong success. This grant will help further offer a host of services to bolster parent/caregiver learning, including child development workshops, a multi-faceted resource center, and one-on-one learning opportunities drawing on the expertise of New York’s health care centers, colleges and child serving institutions. 
Friends Seminary actively promotes diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism in all its programs and operations, including admissions, financial aid, hiring, and all facets of the educational experience. To form a community which strives to reflect the world’s diversity, we do not discriminate on the basis of race or color, religion, nationality, ethnicity, economic background, physical ability, sex, gender identity or expression, or sexual orientation. Friends Seminary is an equal opportunity employer.

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Friends Seminary — the oldest continuously operated, coeducational school in NYC — serves college-bound day students in Kindergarten-Grade 12.