Why It Matters

In fall 2019, we listened to many of our nonprofit partners and asked for their feedback for what kind of support for the youth they serve would be helpful. In addition, we sought to create goals that could incorporate our post-secondary scholarships and our Send A Kid To Camp program.

We developed the following goals for our funding in Education & Youth:

  • To support youth ages 5-24 in developing their leadership capacity and ability to be involved in their community;
  • To support them completing their current educational track; and
  • Increase the number of youth able to both access and complete post-secondary education.

However, we know that during COVID, it’s hard to think long-term--so this fall we’re launching a grant program intended to help mitigate some of the negative effects of COVID on the youth in our community. We know that learning loss has ballooned to up to a year for some students, and practicing leadership is hard to do when you can’t access learning online, don’t have enough to eat, or are coping with mental health challenges.

We’ve been inspired by the many creative ways nonprofits in our community are working to reach students in safe, effective ways. We look forward to being a partner in this work.

We're Working To

Increase number of youth-led and informed initiatives

Increase the % of youth completing their current educational track

Increase % of youth able to access and complete post-secondary education

Meet Our 2020-2021 Student Advisory Committee

RJ Brown

School: NC State University

Major: Technology, Engineering, and Design Education -- Graphic Communications

Career Goals: I love all things tech! My major allows me the opportunity to practically do anything related to graphics, animations, or just about anything in all of the engineering fields.

I decided to serve on this committee to not only represent diversity in the area but to be a voice for the students who feel like they do not have support. I hope to gain many connections across the Raleigh area through this committee. With those connections, I hope to be able to bless others by helping my fellow young people find those they find inspirational.

RJ Brown

Suwan Na

School: Wake Technical Community College

Major: Biology

Career Goals: After graduation, I want to go to medical school to become a pediatric oncologist. I want a career that will help people, especially kids feel better on the inside and out. I want to inspire them to live life to the fullest. I am exploring my options, but I know I want to help people through science.

I joined this committee because I hope to meet new people as well as get inspiration from other people serving on the committee. I am serving on the committee to help students like me in the future. I want to give them the opportunity to be able to go to school and get a career that they love.

Suwan Na School: Wake Technical Community College Major: Biology Expected Graduation: May 2024 Career Goals: After graduation from a 4-year university, I want to go to Med school to get my professional degree. Then I will become a pediatric oncologist. I want a career that will help people, especially kids feel better on the inside and out. I want to inspire them to live life to the fullest. I am exploring my options but I know I want to help people through science. I joined this committee because hope to meet new people as well as get inspiration from other people serving on the same program as me. I would like to be a part of serving the committee to help students like me in the future. I want to give them the opportunity to be able to go to school and get a career that they love.

Faisal Alzoubi

School: Durham Technical Community College

Major: Computer Science

Career Goals: I really want to build an app and a company to help refugees and low-proficiency English speakers to get their life going in the US.

I'm serving this committee because the Foundation will still receive new high schoolers' applications in the future, and I don't want them to struggle; therefore, I want to explain how the application process went to the Foundation hoping they will make changes for future scholarships recipients (Such as making the applications into one universal application process).

Faisal Al zoubi

Student Assistance Fund

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Foundation has set up the Student Assistance Fund for current scholarship recipients, providing one-time cash assistance to eligible students to assist with needs that would otherwise hinder them from completing their academic program. Grants are being made on a rolling basis, and we've heard such gratitude from students upon receipt.

If you would like to contribute to this fund so that we can make additional grants, please make a gift to our Fund for the Triangle and denote Student Assistance Fund.

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this contribution to my housing. I’ve been in tears since I got the approval email. The weight of the world is just a little bit lighter because of this. Thank you so much again, I just can’t thank the Foundation enough."

Featured Story: Innovations and inspirations brighten a changed world

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This summer, we transitioned those summer camp grants to general operating support and chose to be flexible with that funding by telling our grantees we understood if summer programming couldn’t occur. We gathered these nonprofit leaders virtually twice to check in, and instead of plans being canceled we heard of so many creative, new plans being made. The innovation we’ve seen has been truly inspiring – even more so because we know that nonprofit staffers are also juggling working from home and caring for their own families while they focus on meeting the community’s growing needs.

The Immense Impact COVID-19 has had on Students

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly affected students in our region. From concerns over learning loss, food insecurity, and scholarship restrictions to housing and mental health factors, students of all ages have had to make unexpected changes amid an uncertain future. In episode 4 of the What Matters Video Podcast, our guests highlight some of the challenges that students have had to make, and what's still needed to ensure they can all thrive.