YAPPERS award 2021 grants to local nonprofits

A local group of school-age philanthropists known as YAPPERS recently awarded nearly $7,000 in grants to youth-serving agencies in Dubuque County to help strengthen and grow their programs.

The Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque facilitates the group to engage Dubuque high school students in charitable giving and build an ethic of giving in younger generations. The YAPPERS take part in teambuilding and leadership activities, discuss issues facing local children, plans events and service projects, and make funding decisions to support youth-serving organizations.

“Because of the pandemic, we couldn’t hold our annual Feed the Need luncheon, which is the YAPPERS’ largest fundraiser of the year,” says Cynthia Wehrenberg, the Community Foundation’s youth impact coordinator. “The teens got creative and did virtual fundraising to raise money for their grant cycle. Donors really stepped up to help the kids and the community. In reviewing grant applications, the students were very in tune with community needs and committed to supporting organizations that impact youth.”

Ava Bradley, a sophomore at Loras College who participated in YAPPERS as a high school student and now assist the Foundation as the YAPPERS student coordinator, feels more connected to many local nonprofits through these experiences. “It is clear that our applicants are passionate about the work they do and how they impact the community,” says Bradley. “Their passion inspired me to advocate for them throughout the grantmaking process to ensure our community’s needs are met.”

The YAPPERS awarded 2021 grants to the following nonprofits: 

  • Dubuque Area Labor Harvest: $1,400 to support food deliveries
  • Iowa Jobs for America’s Graduates: $2,250 to support inclusive career pathways for underserved youth in Dubuque
  • St. Mark Youth Enrichment: $750 to support Apples for students school supplies initiative
  • Restorative Strategies: $1,750 to support the program, an alternative to the juvenile justice system
  • Foundation for Dubuque Public Schools: $725 to support a student youth leadership group focusing on equity practices