Community Memorial Foundation introduced its Young Community Changemakers program to an audience of nearly 100 community leaders at a launch event at the La Grange Country Club on October 10, 2018. The Young Community Changemakers program, also known as YC2, is a leadership development program designed to educate and empower local youth to become the next generation of philanthropists — those who give their time, talent and treasure for the common good. YC2 is sponsored by Community Memorial Foundation, The Burjan Family and Allow Good, and it is based on the vision that young people need opportunities to develop the skills to be the future leaders and stewards of our community.
Twenty-five students from Lyons Township High School and Nazareth Academy will be selected to participate in the YC2 program. Program curricula begins with students exploring their local community and its social challenges; learning the basics of philanthropic theory; and then conducting organizational evaluation and grantmaking. Students will review grant applications from local organizations, conduct site visits, and at the end of the semester-long program, award up to $15,000 to nonprofit organizations that further the mission and vision of Community Memorial Foundation.
“The YC2 program is developed from the Foundation’s philosophy of creating a culture of philanthropy throughout our region,” says Greg DiDomenico, President and CEO of Community Memorial Foundation. “We’re teaching teens that we all have the capacity to create local change and carry on the legacy of giving back — a hallmark of our region.”
YC2 is a public-private partnership facilitated by the Foundation and generously supported by The Burjan Family. “I’m a Rotarian,” says Jerry Burjan, President of La Grange-based Burcor Properties. “Our motto is ‘service above self’, and that’s really what this program is all about; teaching our local youth how and why to give back to our community.”
The YC2 program begins with a kickoff event in December and will conclude in April 2019. Students will convene for 8 program sessions designed and developed in partnership with Allow Good, an Evanston-based nonprofit organization that provides school-based and custom curriculum aimed at providing youth with the tools of philanthropy. Applications are due November 7, 2018 by 5:00 PM. To learn more and apply, please visit www.cmfdn.org/yc2.