On Friday afternoon, students from the United Way Youth Leadership Cabinet community donated a record $78,000 to several community nonprofits at the Hodgetown Stadium club.
A combination of 47 schools in surrounding districts, including Amarillo, Canyon, Bushland, River Road, Highland Park and Ascension Academy, determined which funds to allocate to four different areas:
– $2,000 of the total funds was awarded to sponsor the Day of Caring Project;
– another $2,000 was allocated to scholarships;
– $30,000 was granted to adult programs in the region and
– $43,000 for regional youth programs.
This year, the Youth Leadership Cabinet received 12 applications from local associations. The Youth Leadership Firm assessed each application individually and, where appropriate, met with program directors as part of their assessment process. The students also looked beyond the nominations for new ways to serve the community with their limited but precious means. On March 2, they hosted a meeting where all funding decisions were finalized to present to the nonprofits at the Friday event.
“We wanted to play a role in helping our community, and that’s what we wanted to do. We took it upon ourselves to raise as much as we could,” said Canyon HS Youth Leadership member Maison Guerra.
Allocation of funds was presented to nine local nonprofit organizations, including the Wesley Community Center, Boy Scouts of America, Salvation Army, Amarillo Red Cross and many others.
According to Guerra, the funds were raised in different ways for each grade level in the districts. Some ways students raised funds throughout the school year included change campaigns, spirit week activities, and general student donations.
“This luncheon is a way for us to celebrate what these students have achieved and what they are doing, but also a way for them to recognize the nonprofit organizations they have chosen,” said Raul Rodarte-Suto. , Chief of Staff of the Youth Cabinet. and Community Initiatives Manager for United Way of Amarillo and Canyon. “Because of this, children are part of the solution to the problems they see in the community, and we have seen an increase in the number of students participating in the program since the start of the pandemic.”
According to Rodarte-Suto, the funds raised last year amounted to $55,000. The United Way Youth Leadership Cabinet was established 20 years ago and has grown to include local school districts ever since. This year’s participation included a total of 10 different high schools from all five districts across grade levels K-12.
During the presentation, Denascia Johnson, a senior from Palo Duro High School, received a $2,000 scholarship for his community involvement, including his participation as a student council member, a Boys Club volunteer, and Daughters, her membership in the Youth Cabinet and her role in Youth Day. .
“I have big plans for my future, so being rewarded helps put things in order, knowing I have support from outgoing organizations,” Johnson said. “It’s important to me, because I want to encourage others and inspire them to get involved and help their community.”
Johnson said she plans to allocate the funds to study psychology at Amarillo College before transferring to a university.