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Kansas Group—Youth Making a Difference—Earns International Youth Philanthropy Award

(Arlington, VA)  Youth Making A Difference (YMAD), a program of the South Central Community Foundation (SCCF) in Pratt, Kan., that involves engaging youth from seven counties in philanthropy and grant-making, has received the 2015 Bob Carter Companies Award for Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy, Group, given by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). 

Youth Making a Difference will receive its honor at the second annual National Philanthropy Day® Honors event on Nov. 12th in New York City at the 92nd Street Y, a historic cultural center at 7:30 p.m.

For the past 12 years, 114 high school students have gone through the YMAD program, inviting grant applications, reviewing documents and making nearly $250,000 in grants to a wide variety of charities.  In 2014 alone, 27 members reviewed 98 grant applications and awarded $26,000 to organizations in South Central Kansas.  Recent grant recipients include nursing homes, libraries, schools, church programs, hospice, art centers, pregnancy centers, health clinics, food banks, teen centers, mental health services, and 4-H programs.

 “YMAD Program Manager, Maggie Southard has done an outstanding job of developing the students into future stewards and leaders of their communities.  We are humbled by the receipt of this prestigious  AFP 2015 Bob Carter Companies Award for Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy, Group, which is further evidence of the program’s success”, said Bekki L. Pribil, executive director of SCCF

One especially inspiring gift YMAD made was to a nursing home: a computer configured for the senior population with bigger keys, larger fonts, touch screen, and voice responsive typing.  These computers are invaluable because many nursing home residents do not have family that live close.  Another gift was a grant to Sterling High School to help students start their first energy-related classroom project.  The school subsequently installed a small wind turbine on its campus, and Kansas Wind Resource recognized Sterling for being one of the first schools to develop an energy program. 

“Youth Making a Difference encompasses everything a youth philanthropy program should,” said Bob Carter, CFRE, president of Bob Carter Companies. “It brings in kids at an early age and has them work together in an environment that encourages teamwork and innovation. The lessons the kids learn through YMAD will be ones they keep forever, and it’s clear the program is so inspiring because so many graduates continue their own philanthropic activities. It’s an outstanding program that should be replicated around the world.”

YMAD’s impact does not just stop when students leave the program.  Many continue their philanthropy at the college level, researching and applying for grant opportunities.  Graduates of the program have helped their college biology class purchase microscopes and purchase equipment for a school tennis team.

“Youth Making a Difference lives up to its name in every way, and we’re so pleased to be able to honor them for the amazing difference they’ve made,” said Andrew Watt, FInstF, president, and CEO of AFP.  “This new generation is one of the most philanthropic we’ve ever seen, and Youth Making a Difference is giving young people the tools, knowledge and resources to put their charitable inclinations into action.  It’s an outstanding program and everyone involved in Youth Making a Difference deserves to be recognized.”

“I have had the pleasure of working with youth for the past 12 years who have volunteered their time and energy to make YMAD become so successful,” said Maggie Southard, program manager for SCCF. “We are deeply grateful for these young teens who have passion for philanthropy and want to make a positive change in their communities.”

The National Philanthropy Day® Honors recognize outstanding leadership, commitment, and generosity in philanthropy.  Youth Making a Difference is one of six finalists who will be honored at the National Philanthropy Day® event on Nov. 12.  More information can be found at

The 31 Youth Making Difference members, from our seven county service area, include:

Barber County: Hannah Rankin, Zack Barker, Emily Rugg, and Slater Blick             

Comanche County: Madison Rickabaugh, Brenna Lawless, and Micaela Jellison            

Kingman County: Kortney Ricke, Heather Kerschen, Katelyn Harbert, and Kathlynn Carter

Kiowa County: Natalie Stewart, Hannah Brown, Nathan Lee, McKelvie McMurry, and Alisyn Davis 

Pratt County: Lauren Beardsley, Klasee Crawford, Elijah Gatlin, and Lindsey Bergner         

Rice County: Taryn Gillespie, Shawna Collins, Bryce Sears, Christian Mendez, Terek Smith and Alexias Rose

Stafford County: Adriane Millershaski, Madysen Schreiber, Allison Lowther, Lane Sebes, BreAnn Anshutz, Greyson Collins, and Isabella Martinez-Haskins

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