Boone County youth earn grants for community service projects


By Mark Ambrogi



The Youth as Resources Boone Co., a program of the United Way of Central Indiana, is doing its part to encourage young people to get involved.

The group recently awarded $8,169 to 11 youth-led community service projects.

“We encourage the youth to research community needs and come up with a project that will meet the particular need that they’ve identified,” said Amy Hammerle, the volunteer engagement coordinator for the United Way office in Boone Co.

Those interested in grants complete an online application. The next step includes an interview with a board of directors made up of students from the county’s three school systems and adults from all over the county.

“The youth (on the board) have equal responsibilities and full voting privileges, so they’re very engaged in the entire process of the grant making,” Hammerle said. “We encourage the kids to meet one of our priorities of United Way, which is education, financial stability, health and basic needs.”

Among the projects are three student-led projects, three Scout projects, one library teen council project, one 4-H club project, one service club project, as well as two youth-led projects at the Boys & Girls Club of Zionsville.

A project, called LAMB: Learning and Making Buddies, led by Boone Co. 4-H Sheep Projects members received the largest grant, $1,023.23. The members will work with Life Skills students to help them learn new social skills and make new friends through a day of learning about how to care for and show sheep.

Boy Scout Troop 803 received $1,000 to build a 12- by 16-foot storage shed for the Boys and Girls Club of Zionsville West. This shed is needed to store sports equipment and other club supplies.

Among the other grants was $948.53 for Boy Scout Troop 358 to build Buddy Benches for Stonegate, Union, Eagle and Boone Meadow elementary schools in Zionsville. The benches are designed to be used during recess by students to build friendships and self-esteem.

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