Community Foundation of Jackson County invests in youth success

Thanks to the support of the Community Foundation of Jackson County, Maquoketa High School senior Lorelei Bahl is feeling confident about her education and her future. 

“I am so thankful to have received a scholarship from the Community Foundation of Jackson County,” Bahl reflects. “Going into debt is a scary thing, made even scarier with the COVID-19 difficulties we’re facing. Because of this scholarship and others, I am still able to attend the University of Iowa to obtain a bachelor’s degree in management.”

The recent graduate also reflects on the investment her community is making in her success.

“I have loved being a part of this community, and the generosity that I have seen through the scholarship process has only grown that love,” she says. “Our community is one that cares deeply about its youth and wants to see each person succeed in their own way.”

The Community Foundation is a charitable organization that administers funds to improve the lives of people in Jackson County, and scholarships like the one Bahl received represent one of many ways the Foundation does this. Through the support of generous donors, the Foundation is especially committed to youth and education, focusing its efforts on initiatives like the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and Vision To Learn, as well as providing grants to teachers. These efforts help ensure the young people of Jackson County have access to opportunities that can help them succeed. 

“Jackson County has so many hardworking, talented students. These young people are our future — it’s important they know we support them,” said Mary Jo Gothard, executive director of the Community Foundation of Jackson County. “Investing in our youth will ultimately lead to stronger communities with engaged citizens who are living up to their full potential.”

This spring, the Community Foundation of Jackson County awarded $100,650 through 72 scholarship awards to 42 graduating seniors. Students at six local high schools were eligible: Bellevue, Easton Valley; Maquoketa; Marquette Catholic; Midland; and Northeast.

Julie Kinrade, a counselor at Maquoketa High School, expressed the school’s gratitude for its relationship with the Community Foundation: “Maquoketa High School loves working with the Community Foundation! The cost of college is astronomical, and these scholarships help lessen the financial burden for our students and their parents.”

While scholarships provide important resources to teens on the verge of adulthood, the Foundation also recognizes that supporting children early in life is crucial. For example, the Foundation has supported the Jackson County Campaign for Grade-Level Reading since the Campaign’s inception in 2015. The program focuses on improving school readiness, attendance, and summer learning for youth in every school district in the county, both public and parochial.

Thanks to generous donors, the foundation also supports Vision To Learn, an initiative that has provided Jackson County children hundreds of free eye exams and pairs of prescription glasses since 2015.

To make your impact on the youth of Jackson County, visit Donors who give to endowments through a community foundation may benefit from the generous Endow Iowa 25% State Tax Credit in addition to federal charitable income tax deductions.