Young Philanthropist Fund Supports Potential Development School

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Potential Development School for Students with Autism is the recipient of $5,000 from the Young Philanthropist Fund this year.   

The Young Philanthropist Fund makes an annual gift to a local nonprofit with the 25 Under 35 awards sponsored by the Mahoning Valley Young Professionals (MVYP) club serving as the primary fundraiser. Housed at the Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley, the fund has awarded 23 grants totaling nearly $54,000 since it was created in 2006.  

Potential Development requested support for a new outdoor exercise area, which caught the attention of the grant review committee.

“Right now, our students really only have a portion of the asphalt parking lot to play on,” says Crissi Jenkins, development director for Potential Development.

The school plans to install a chest press, back press, balance beam, climbing net, step machine and rower for the students to use. The space was designed by the same company that worked on The Walnut Grove, a fully accessible playground in Canfield, Jenkins notes. 

“Physical activity is so important. It’s good to just get outside and stretch your legs and be active, not just for people with autism, but for all of us, just to keep a healthy body and healthy mind,” says Zackary Gran, chairman of the Community Foundation Gives Committee, which reviews and recommends grants from the Young Philanthropist Fund. 

The playground is expected to be ready for students by the spring. 

Pictured from left: Mercades Emery, student; Ashley Wilfong, MVYP/YWCA Mahoning Valley; Justin Metzel, MVYP/First Commonwealth Bank; Katie Petridis, Potential Development high school program coordinator; Colin Cashbaugh, student; Zackary Gran, MVYP/YSU; Zaire James, student; Paul Garchar, Potential Development executive director.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.