YSU Student Philanthropists Award $3K to Potential Development

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Youngstown State University students in the Student Nonprofit Leadership Organization gained hands-on experience in philanthropy this spring through the Pay It Forward: Student Philanthropy Initiative by awarding $3,000 in funding to Potential Development.

Potential Development, a nonpublic charter school for children with autism, will use the money to fund its Special Olympics track team.

The Pay It Forward initiative helps students learn how to be engaged citizens and to understand the role philanthropy plays in the health of local communities. The initiative addresses critical economic needs in the Mahoning Valley while providing an opportunity for students to experience the grant process, which includes soliciting, reviewing, interviewing and awarding.

“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 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.”

The initiative began with seed money from Ohio Campus Compact in 2010, and the students have sustained the initiative through their own fundraising efforts every year since then. The project strives to engage business majors and nonprofit leadership students in professional development opportunities within the nonprofit sector. The Center for Nonprofit Leadership offers a certificate and a minor in Nonprofit Leadership, which can be combined with any major on campus.

For more information on the Pay It Forward initiative, Student Nonprofit Leadership Organization or Youngstown State University’s Center for Nonprofit Leadership, contact Dewberry at 330 941 1870 or ljdewberry@ysu.edu.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.