uwtc youthphilantropy2018 Youth and Philanthropy Students: Alina Achenbach-Schill, Ashleigh Scheidweiler, Aurora Wulff, Ila Rose, Jackson Oates, Indigo Kane, Janelle Vuong, Jisoo Ha*, Justin Wade, Kobe Bangs, Nano Win, Natalie Irwin*, Naysa Pence-Milton, Patrick Murphy, Samuel Cariddi* (*2018 Denotes YAP Student Leader) Photo by John Peeples

Local students awarded $25,000 Monday to Tompkins County non-profits through the United Way of Tompkins County' Youth and Philanthropy (YAP) program. YAP is an annual United Way program which features a student lead grant fund, leadership training, as well as education on advocacy. This year's cohort was made up of fifteen students representing four local high schools. Funding for the program is made possible through Triad Foundation, who provides the grant funds, as well as UWTC's Corporate Cornerstone Partners, who cover operating expenses.

Samuel Cariddi, 2018 YAP program student leader and 2017 YAP participant, helped open the ceremony with a brief overview of his experience. "I learned many skills—from money management to decision-making and team-building; all that will serve me well, far beyond the reaches of this program." Samuel is one of three student leaders, joined by Jisoo Ha and Natalie Irwin – all seniors and veterans of the YAP Program.

United Way of Tompkins County Manager of Communication & Engagement, Regan Ralston, highlighted the success of YAP's student leadership. "Not only did the student leaders set goals for the committee as a whole, but they set goals for themselves," states Ralston. One of these goals she shared was to "make an effort to create a personal connection with each student." Ralston emphasized that the program this season excelled at collective dialogue, constructive disagreement, and building community trust.

After six weeks of work, the YAP committee finalized their grant fund award decisions under the supervision of Ralston and long-time United Way volunteer Myriah Marnell, Tompkins Trust Company. The students designed committee parameters ahead of the final meeting and voted unanimously to pass their final decisions.

2018 Youth and Philanthropy Award Winners:
  • Ithaca Community Childcare Center
  • Challenging Behavior &ESL Aids - $4,500
  • Ithaca Health Alliance
  • MARTTI - $2,500
  • Golden Opportunity (GO) Center
  • Tutoring and Mentorship - $1,600
  • Tompkins Learning Partners Inc.
  • Learning An Impression: SWAG Outreach - $596
  • Catholic Charities of Tompkins County
  • Transportation Assistance - $4,000
  • Center for Transformative Action
  • Youth Farm Project - $1,000
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Building the Future - $3,530
  • Ithaca’s Discovery Trail
  • Kids Discover the Trail Program Expansion - $500
  • Family Reading Partnership
  • Story Walks for Children in Dryden and Enfield - $1,774
  • Foodnet Meals on Wheels
  • Blizzard Bag Program 2018/19 - $3,500
  • YMCA of Ithaca & Tompkins County
  • Bicycle Safety Training Program - $1,500