The County Foundation receives major grant funding
The County Foundation (TCF) recently announced the receipt of $150,000 from a shared initiative between the J.W McConnell Family Foundation and the Laidlaw Foundation. The grant will ensure the continuance of the PEC Youth Collective Impact (Youth CI) in its Vital Signs Learning Group. This is a structured, collaborative project that sees over 20 local organizations working together towards the bigger picture of supporting PEC youth, helping them reach their potential through participation in educational arts, cultural and community activities.
It’s no secret that there is significant effort being put into the raising of grades and the engagement of the youth in the County. The goal is not a lofty one. Getting the grades up to the average provincial high school level would be considered a rousing success. Currently, the County sits at 12 per cent below the provincial average. But how do you engage the youth of today when they are face down in technology most of the time? You do it with face time. Not FaceTime. Real face time. That’s why a significant amount of the grant will be allocated to hiring the right youth who will assist in the development and implementation of this initiative. These candidates, once chosen, will then be welcomed into one of the 20 partner organizations working with Youth CI to support the development and delivery of programs for youth in the County. Another highlight of the grant will be the establishment of a fund to support the participation of youth who may have financial barriers keeping them from attending.
“Learning is a complex issue. We need an innovative and collaborative effort to make an impact. This funding will ensure that we can build a team to support our programs in the County. The execution grant will get the wheels in motion. It’s all about supporting the youth and getting them to dream big,” says Brian Beiles, president of the County Foundation.
Over the past two years, TCF has received over $280,000 of funding between two major funders, the Laidlaw Foundation and the Trillium Group. Of that funding, half will go to support local youth initiatives included embedding part-time youth roles in organizations like the ROC, Prince Edward Learning Centre, Community Living Prince Edward and others. This learning project emerged from TCF’s 2013 Vital Sign’s report, a statistically based snapshot of the community that takes both opportunities and challenges into consideration. The goal of the VS report is to address challenges in the areas of food, education and transportation in the County and achieve concrete solutions based on a collaborative approach. They also seek out funding to help in any way they can.
For the youth in the County, there is a new wave of help coming. With funders like Trillium and the Laidlaw Foundation leading the charge, things are moving forward. Programs Youth CI and Vital Signs are helping the community by helping them address their needs. The groundwork is being laid for a solid level of support for the young people in the County, and now the pressure is on TCF to take this grant and make sure the support gets to right people.
“By putting the needs of our youth at the front of the line, you are telling them that they matter. You are telling them that they are needed in the community. Youth need to hear that,” says Beiles.