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

New Grants Program Announced

We are excited to announce a new grants program to provide funding to address the effects of COVID-19 on the youth in our community. In particular, this grant program will seek to support organizations working to help youth with learning loss, mental health, food insecurity, and technology access, while also valuing youth input and leadership in their education and community.

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


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.