uVoice is a high school youth philanthropy board created in partnership between Community Youth Concepts and the Mid Iowa Health Foundation. Its mission is to be a board aimed at positively impacting the well-being of youth in central Iowa. This year’s board is comprised of 8 members from various high schools in Polk County. They learned how to assess needs in the community, design and award grants to address those needs, and participated in volunteer service projects throughout the community.
This year’s uVoice’s grant application focused on reducing stress for youth in Polk County. Applicants had to demonstrate their efforts through activities that improve school climate, activities that ease the transitions between middle and high school and/or high school to college, promote a safe after school environment, or establish peer-to-peer mentoring. After receiving many grant applications, the students decided to grant their funds to Children’s Cancer Connection and Amanda the Panda. The uVoice students recognized that these organizations are making great strides in Des Moines and wanted to support their missions.
The grant awarded to Children’s Cancer Connection will go toward a summer leadership camp, which the uVoice students will also support as volunteers. The Amanda the Panda grant will help create Cheer Boxes to brighten the holidays of families who have lost a loved one, and support suicide response teams which are sent to schools and various communities when they experience a suicide.
uVoice empowers youth voices to directly combat the issues facing youth in our community. If you know a high school student in Polk County that would be interested in being apart of this unique opportunity, contact Tess Hunting for more information at email@example.com or 515-243-4292.