Community Spirit Youth Giving Challenge awards $10,000 combined to 20 nonprofits in tri-county area

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WATERTOWN — The Northern New York Community Foundation has announced $10,000 in Community Spirit Youth Giving Challenge grants to 20 nonprofit organizations that serve Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties.

Now in its fifth year, the Community Spirit Youth Giving Challenge is open to all tri-county middle school students. This year’s program committee reviewed 193 entries from seventh and eighth graders who recommended grants to 93 different organizations.

Schools participating in the 2020-21 challenge include Augustinian Academy, Belleville-Henderson, Case Middle School, LaFargeville, Lyme, South Jefferson, Thousand Islands Middle School, Beaver River, Lowville Academy, Canton, Edwards-Knox, Massena and Morristown.

“Efforts to instill community engagement in our youth not only build upon the past, but provide hope for the future,” Rande S. Richardson, Community Foundation executive director, said in a statement. “We were pleased to see participation from students across all three counties, and the grants will have widespread and varied impact, both geographically and the types of organizations receiving support.”

The initiative was launched in 2017 to introduce middle school students to concepts of philanthropy and community needs. In the past five years, 103 students have been selected to present 99 grants totaling $50,000 to 82 different nonprofit organizations that serve tri-county residents.

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