Eden Prairie Says: Youngsters Are a Priority
Helping Eden Prairie youth become better citizens and future workplace stars is a priority for our community. Eden Prairie leaders and volunteers told us so in a Visioning Workshop held by the Foundation in fall 2014. Not long after, the Eden Prairie Community Foundation committed to helping raise healthy youngsters by launching the Youth Initiative.
Initially, the Foundation will raise long-term funding for two existing and important youth programs that occasionally have either run out of funds or lurched from year to year with funding uncertainties: PROP youth scholarships, and the CounterAct program.
PROP Youth Scholarships
PROP youth scholarships help pay for after-school activities for children in needy families — activities such as sports, theater, swimming lessons, driver’s education, STEM enrichment classes, and more. The amount of scholarship varies, but recipients are children 18 or younger, low-income, and having exhausted other fee-assistance programs. In 2014, PROP ran out of after-school scholarship money, so the Community Foundation raised funds to support the program. As a result, the program is helping roughly 100 kids per year.
CounterAct is a program offered in Eden Prairie fifth-grade classrooms by the Eden Prairie Police Department. Designed by Hazelden, it teaches youngsters how to make good decisions when it comes to the issues of bullying, chemical use, and more. This program has existed for years, but does not have long-term funding. And yet, more than 800 students a year are impacted by this curriculum.
What Youth Have to Say
Are you making an impact when you contribute to the Foundation’s Youth Initiative?
“I never thought I would be able to do this!” said a scholarship recipient who had completed driver’s education. “Thanks for helping my family. I got my license this week and now I can drive to work after school.”
A child who attended a church summer camp with the help of a scholarship said, “Summer camp was really fun. I made new friends.”
Two brothers who signed up for the same soccer team wrote this note: “Thanks for helping us play soccer. Our grandparents who live far away visited us for the first time and watched us play. They were proud of us!”
Won’t you help us raise healthy, smart youngsters? Please make a donation to our Youth Initiative.