Engaging Youth in Leadership and Community Service

YR’s Founding Program & Grant-Making Arm

Young people in our community want to make a difference, and YR’s Make A Difference Grants give them that opportunity! Individual youth or a group can apply for a grant of up to $750 for a youth-led community service project. A trained committee of students from the Teen Advisory Council screen the applications and submit them to the Board of Directors for final approval.

Youth involved in these service-learning grants reinforce their academic learning, build cognitive and social skills, develop future job skills, and increase their self-esteem. Most importantly, Make A Difference Grant recipients have fun volunteering while learning that they can make a profound difference in the lives of others in their community.

A sample of the community needs addressed by past youth-led Make A Difference Grant projects are: bullying; self-esteem in girls; reaching out to families of incarcerated individuals; military support; literacy; helping less fortunate families; children in crisis situations; homelessness and hunger; peer mentoring; environmental awareness and beautification; socialization with the elderly; understanding and addressing public policy; park revitalization; and HIV/AIDS awareness.

How To Apply

1. Research and Planning
Brainstorm with your youth to determine a need in your community.
Develop a service project that meets that need.

2. Complete An Application 
Complete the online application here.

3. Return Application
Return your final application to Jessica Fehrenbacher, P.O. Box 3635, Evansville, IN 47735.

All applicants must be affiliated with a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. 

The Hudson Family’s Story

jossiecamp-01“Jossie’s dad worked for many years at Harwood and Cedar Hall schools, where money is tight for many families. Jossie recognized that many of the kids at Cedar Hall do not get opportunities to go to skill camps, like she had growing up.

After the idea of a camp was born, funding was needed to provide enough basketballs for each child, so we applied to YR for a MAD Grant. Jossie said that seeing the kids eyes light up and big smiles on their faces when they showed up for a camp day made the whole experience exceptional.

There are big ripple effects from MAD Grants. You never really know where they will end or how much they change lives in big or small ways. Recipients learn valuable lessons as they use their resources to contribute to society.”

Carey, Tracey and Jossie Hudson made Jossie’s Game Up skills camp come to life through funding from a Make A Difference Grant. This family affair involved 38 youth volunteers and impacted 95 participants.


Jessica Fehrenbacher, MPA
Program Manager
812-421-0030 ext. 16


Make A Difference Grant Application


Grant Acceptance Paperwork Submission
Liability & Photo Release
Final Paperwork Submission

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