Tonight I attended the By Youth For Youth Award Ceremony for 2018-2019. BYFY is a program in which youth who lead programs designed for youth write and submit grant proposals to a committee staffed by youth. This incredible program is funded by the United Way, Dane County Youth Commission, UW Extension, Madison Peace Project, Madison Downtown Rotary, the Holly Cremer Berkenstadt/Cremer Foundation, and the City of Madison.
As a citizen member of the Youth Commission, I saw these student committee members present on their grant selections with poise and a deep understanding of the fraught issues affecting kids in Dane County. It is with some sadness that the Youth Commission members noted that many of these programs that were funded included feeding low-income students students, collecting clothes, blankets and toiletries for foster students, and providing passes for summer activities (going to the pool, movie passes, etc) for homeless youth. When did it become the job of the youth to feed and clothe other kids? But this is what Dane County students are seeing as issues right now, and they're eager to address it. We are so very proud of the diligence and energy with which BYFY committee members as well as grant awardees sought to tackle these great issues.
If you are a student interested in participating in By Youth For Youth as a Committee Member or a youth-led organization leader hoping for funding, check out this webpage at United Way >> http://dev.unitedwaydanecounty.org/youth-service-programs/byfy/