As part of Centennial Fund “youth-led” initiative, a cohort of St. Johns high school youth completed a grant making process, donating primarily to groups addressing gun violence prevention and housing support for vulnerable women and youth. The learning and discernment process began in December of 2022 and concluded in May 2023.
The team of juniors or seniors included Kamryn Halley, Cashel Criner, Maclain Everson-Rose, Mikayla Franke, Evan Johnstone, Berit Schaefer, and Darby Zoia. Mark Lindberg, Rachel Gagliardi, Heather Miller and Roger Rose supported them as they learned about philanthropy, selected areas of concerns and explored specific groups for donation.
The youth-led team identified three key areas of interest of focus: education access, reducing gun violence and mental health and addiction. After research, debate and discernment, they chose to distribute funds to:
Mothers Against Community Gun Violence \ www.macgvnb.com
Mission: To build infrastructure in our communities, where violence is not an option and strives to fight community gun violence. $7,500
Guns Down, Love Up \ gunsdownloveup.com
Mission: To promote Love, Peace, and Community Collectiveness to end gun violence in the Twin Cities. $1,000
Haven House \ www.havenhousing.org
Mission: To provide emergency shelter and supportive housing for women and children. $2,500
American Indian OIC \ www.aioic.org
Mission: To empower American Indians who wish to pursue career opportunities, providing individualized education, training and human services in a culturally rich environment. $1,000