YSU ‘Pays it Forward’ to Flying High Inc.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — This spring, Students from the Student Nonprofit Leadership Organization at Youngstown State University got first-hand experience in philanthropy through the Pay It Forward: Student Philanthropy Initiative, presenting Flying High Inc. with $3,000.

The funds will be put toward a new greenhouse and chicken coop for Flying High’s Grow Urban Farm, which improves food access by growing vegetables using organic methods and selling them in the Mahoning Valley, according to a release. Those enrolled in Flying High’s workforce development program tend the farm.

Flying High is a 501(c)3 nonprofit serves individuals reintegrating into society after being incarcerated, or who are recovering from substance abuse by providing educational and economic opportunities.

“Through a democratic process, the students reviewed applications from nearly 25 local nonprofit organizations that met specific guidelines related to arts and humanities, food insecurity, human trafficking and youth education,” said Laura Dewberry, director of the YSU Center for Nonprofit Leadership. “The students then subjected each application through a rigorous vetting process and then chose one well-deserving organization to receive their available funding this year.”

Pay It Forward gives students an opportunity to engage with the community and understand the important role philanthropy plays in the community’s health, according to a release. The initiative addresses critical economic needs while instructing students in the grant process of soliciting, reviewing, interviewing and awarding funding.

Since launching the initiative in 2010 with seed money from Ohio Campus Compact, the students have sustained it through fundraising. In total, participating students have awarded nearly $45,000 to local nonprofits.

The Center for Nonprofit Leadership offers a certificate and a minor in Nonprofit Leadership, which can be combined with any major at YSU.

For more information on Pay It Forward, Student Nonprofit Leadership Organization or YSU’S Center for Nonprofit Leadership, contact Dewberry at 330 941 1870 or LJDewberry@ysu.edu.

Pictured: Students from YSU’s Student Nonprofit Leadership Organization donated $3,000 to the Grow Urban Farm at Flying High Inc. Students are joined by Flying High staff and students, as well as Laura Dewberry, director of the YSU Center for Nonprofit Leadership and Jeff Magada, Flying High executive director (far right).

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.