Area teenagers award $10,150 in grants through Quad Cities Community Foundation’s Teens for Tomorrow Program

A group of local teenagers have spent the past year identifying promising opportunities and pressing needs in the Quad Cities area as part of the Quad City Community Foundation’s Teens for Tomorrow program. 

The students immersed themselves in the grant process by learning about community needs, developing a grant opportunity, evaluating applications, making site visits, and awarding grants. This year’s students chose four areas to focus their grants, including the environment, human rights, human trafficking, and mental health.

Typically, the students have $10,000 to award each year. This year, additional dollars were added to the grants available by four Teens for Tomorrow students who received charitable gift cards during their participation in the Quad Cities Big Table who wanted to donate the gift cards to the Community Foundation.

“It was an incredible expression of generosity by these students—they could have given those dollars to any personal passion of theirs, but they believe in this process and in each other to make a greater impact together,” said Kelly Thompson, vice president of grantmaking and community initiatives, who leads the student group.

The six recipients of Teens for Tomorrow grants are:  

  • Davenport Civil Rights Commission—$1,610, to support a community garden pilot project in a lower-income community in the city of Davenport;

  • River Action—$2,275, to offer a program on Sylvan Island for under-served children to learn about natural habitats in the Quad Cities;

  • Robert Young Center—$1,200; to support a youth drum circle therapy program, a creative approach to aiding young people with mental health disorders;

  • Rock Island County Children’s Advocacy Center—$2,440; to provide training on human trafficking to staff;

  • Transitions Mental Health Services—$1,610, to support an educational communication campaign to change stigmas associated with mental health; and,

  • Two Rivers YMCA—$1,015; to provide self-defense training and a seminar on human trafficking to young women who participate in their pre-teenage and teenage mentoring programs.

The group received 18 applications for funding this year, totaling more than $40,000. 

The students will award the 2018 Teens for Tomorrow Grants this Tuesday, May 22 during a special celebration and reception. 

“The students who participate in this program take their role seriously, being both diligent and thorough in their work to identify needs and support organizations who are addressing those needs head-on,” said Thompson. “I know the future of the Quad Cities is in great hands because these students are already leading change in our community.” 

The call for new Teens for Tomorrow members has already started. Students who wish to participate in the 2018/19 Teens for Tomorrow program can apply online now, through May 31.