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Thoughts from Michelle Sorrels, Youth Philanthropy Coordinator


National Mentoring Month and Teen Grantmaking Council

Teen Grantmaking Council (TCG) is made up of 25-30 high school students from across Greater Greensboro who work together to improve life for youth in our area. In addition to gaining valuable leadership experience and job skills, these Council members are responsible for making decisions about which youth projects in the community will receive grant money.

After 15 successful years, it was easy to think that Teen Grantmaking Council would continue in autopilot with its Council dinners and monthly meeting with 25 teens gathered around the table. However, COVID-19 had other plans for the 2020-2021 Council. We were forced to adapt our delivery, grantmaking, and selection processes.

The term “zoom fatigue” has become commonplace in our lexicon these days, the exhaustion felt after attending too many virtual meetings. There was large concern that after a full day of online classes, our teens would be too burned out to attend our virtual evening sessions. Quite the opposite was true! Compared to our counterparts across the state, we have seen some of the highest attendance numbers consistently. This speaks to the commitment of our Councilmembers to learn about philanthropy and to prepare for their grantmaking. Despite the multitude of changes and plethora of first-time Council members, TGC has persevered.

In the past, TGC has funded community projects that feature strong youth leadership. Members have worked hard to ascertain from applications and interviews the role of teens in each project. Due to COVID-19, the teens have opened the application up to youth-serving organizations. Many student groups are unable to meet due to school closures, indoor meeting limits, etc.

The TGC grant application is still open until February 12th for projects that will have a positive impact on youth in Guilford County. Preferred topic areas are mental health, discrimination, and food insecurity. Youth leadership is encouraged.

To learn more about TGC and to apply for a grant, visit http://cfgg.org/initiatives/teen-grantmaking-council/.

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