Youth in Philanthropy Graduates Grant $30,000 to Support Mental Health Issues

Graduates of the Foundation for MetroWest Youth In Philanthropy Program Grant $30,000 To Support Mental Health Issues Across The Region

Students from Hopkinton, Natick, Milford, Sudbury and Wellesley award grants across MetroWest nonprofits

March 23, 2022 (Natick, MA)— In the wake and ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, an Active Minds study found 80% of students have experienced a negative impact on their mental health, with 20% saying it actively worsened. The Foundation for MetroWest’s Youth in Philanthropy program is at the forefront of educating students about the areas of greatest need in their communities. The students are empowered to award grants to projects that align community need with areas of focus that resonate most with them. This year, the 48 students who graduated from the 2021 program saw a growing trend of mental health issues amidst the ongoing pandemic and directed grants accordingly.

“As we deal with the impact of the pandemic, mental health matters more than ever,” said Caroline Murphy Director of Programs at the Foundation for MetroWest. “It’s really inspiring to see students focusing on supporting one another and laying the groundwork for a MetroWest that is healthy in body and mind.”

Throughout the program, each class works to evaluate grant applications, conduct site visits, and distribute up to $10,000 to youth-serving nonprofits in our communities. In the fall cohort of this 17-week program high school students in the Natick, Hopkinton, and Sudbury programs, comprised of students from a variety of towns, granted a total of $30,000 across six nonprofits. The following are organizations that the students selected to receive the grants:

  • MetroWest Mediation Services supporting 50 cases in the Harassment Order mediation program to facilitate conversation and end conflict.
  • REACH, MA creating educational programs to urge young people to prevent violence through a Peers Against Violence Educators (PAVE) program to promote long term healthy relationships.
  • Circle of Hope purchasing and distributing basic support resources to more than 300 homeless college students at Framingham State University.
  • A Place to Turn building the Healthy Learners program to provide health and wellness items to teens.
  • The Children’s Room’s supporting a full year of grief support services to a family at no cost.
  • NAN Project providing peer-to-peer mental health education and suicide prevention programs for students in the MetroWest.

“I think the pandemic added a lot of stress for teens, who already have so many big decisions on their plates,” said Selina Lin, 14 yrs. “As a group, we chose to distribute funds to mental health support, because we felt it was one of the most important and relevant needs of our community and our peers.”

Since launching in 1997, the Foundation for MetroWest’s Youth in Philanthropy program has educated over 2,000 students who have granted over $1.2 million to over 200 MetroWest youth development organizations. The Foundation for MetroWest is proud to be running one of the largest youth philanthropy education programs in the country. More information about the Youth in Philanthropy program. The Foundation for MetroWest encourages students to submit their applications in May for the Fall 2022 program.

The fall Youth in Philanthropy program would not be possible without the support of the Hopkinton Country Club Charitable Foundation and The Sudbury Foundation. We are thankful for their support.

About Foundation for MetroWest

The Foundation for MetroWest is a community foundation that improves the quality of life in 30+ MetroWest communities. Since 1995 the Foundation has been providing financial and educational resources to local nonprofit organizations, sharing essential data about the region to inform critical decision making, and partnering with donors to help guide and align their giving with the areas of greatest need in the community. The Foundation is supported by a range of businesses, individuals, and other philanthropic organizations. Currently the Foundation stewards more than $30 million in charitable assets for immediate needs and future impact.

To learn more, please call 508-647-2260.

3 masked people hold a large check, made out to "A Place to Turn" from the Foundation for MetroWest, dated March 15, 2022.


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