A program designed to help homeless children share their stories and experiences with other children will receive a grant from Youth in Philanthropy. The group comprised of high school juniors and seniors from across Omaha is awarding $15,000 this spring.

This year’s awards focused on opportunities to build an inclusive community for Omaha’s youth through education and service. Youth in Philanthropy members meet to examine issues important to the youth of our city, discuss the topics that interest them and then research those areas. This effort helped the committee select this year’s theme for the 2011 grants. The grant recipients are as follows:

  • Autism Action Partnership – $1,500 for their Social Skills Program at Omaha South High School. The program helps students with autism to improve their social interaction and friendship skills through peer relations, while simultaneously increasing autism awareness in Omaha South High School and the surrounding community
  • Camp Fire USA Midlands Council – $1,500 for development of an internal mentoring program where teens and alumni will train to become mentors for fifth- and sixth-grade students
  • Heartland Equine Therapeutic Riding Academy – $2,200 to give teens an opportunity to plan and lead a horse summer camp for youth with disabilities. They will be guided by two therapeutic riding instructors.
  • Inclusive Communities – $2,800 to provide 8 scholarships to high school students wishing to attend IncluCity I Leadership Institute.
  • Muscular Dystrophy Association – $2,000 to fund young adult support groups that will help build the confidence and well-being for young adults living with muscular dystrophy.
  • R.E.S.P.E.C.T.2 – $2,000 to provide their programming to middle and high school students.
  • Siena Francis House will receive $3,000 for their Turtle Project which will allow homeless children to share stories and experiences through journaling, take-away materials, creativity workshops, and a newsletter.