Conrad Ball Middle School Students Become Philanthropists!
Conrad Ball Middle School (CBMS) students participated in the Give Next program, started by the Bohemian Foundation. They describe the Give Next program as a way “to educate students about the vital role that nonprofits and philanthropy play in their community. Through the program, local businesses, foundations, and individuals become classroom sponsors by providing each participating school with $5,000 to award to nonprofits in Larimer County, Colorado. With the financial support of these generous sponsors, students design and manage their own grantmaking programs.” A big thank you to this year’s classroom sponsors, Kaiser Permanente and Patrick & Denise Juliana.
Each year students must go through an entire process:
Step 1: Identify the needs of the community — This year the Give Next students made a video to poll the entire school in order to better understand the needs of the community.
Step 2: Choose a Focus Area — The results of the poll showed that students at CBMS were most concerned with suicide prevention, family support, and positive role models for students.
Step 3: Create A Mission Statement — “We the students of Conrad Ball Middle School are going to support kids in a positive way. We are encouraging prevention programs that help give children role models and family support. With the help of various individual and business contributions as well as our fundraising goal of $1,000, we hope to address these issues and help our community.”
Step 4: Review Grant Applications — CBMS students received 16 different applications from non-profits in Larimer County. While reviewing each application, students scored them based off of specific criteria relating to their mission statement.
Step 5: Make Funding Decisions — After the students reviewed and scored each application they had to decide how they would split the funds. This year the CBMS Give Next students chose Harrington Arts Alliance and the Boys and Girls Club of Larimer County to be awarded.
“The Give Next program dissolves the boundary between teenagers and their community. It provides a voice for teenagers to make a noticeable change in their community. The teens buy-in to this opportunity when they learn that they have the power to choose and design a mission statement that reflects their unique perspective. It really sinks in when the students receive the applications from the nonprofits who are each competing for funds to help them accomplish their mission statement. During the award ceremony students grasp the impact they are having as they respond to the gratitude and respect from the adult community members. Students are able to walk away from this experience with a new perspective of their community and the opportunities within their community. They rise to the occasion and are proud to showcase the responsibility that they have gained. This process teaches students, they can make a difference as a teenager. Throughout the program students gain confidence, respect for their peers and community members, and experience the rewarding feeling of helping people in need.” said CBMS Give Next Teacher, Nichol Wolverton.