Area high school students from Winfield, Arkansas City, Udall, and Central (Burden) who began a program of study in leadership and service as a part of the Kids Impact Cowley County (KICC) program have awarded grants of up to $500 to their schools.
The Winfield Foreign Culture Club from Winfield High School will be using funds to provide “Viking Bags” full of useful goodies and resources to exchange students and transfer students. Students feel this is a welcoming way to introduce the culture of the high school to new students.
The SkillsUSA organization at Arkansas City High School plans to use the funding to host a cookout to boost community morale and to enhance promotion of service work taking place in the organization. They will use some funding to purchase supplies and promotional materials for SkillsUSA service projects including the blood drive, food drive, Toys for Tots, and reading to elementary students.
The Udall High School Class of 2017 students decided to utilize the funds to paint and upgrade the interior of the Udall Senior Center. It is hoped that this work will develop leadership and teamwork skills in the participating class members.
The Central (Burden) Student Council will use its award to build a trophy case in the high school commons area to display school awards, plaques and trophies. The student council hopes this will help celebrate successes and increase student and community pride.
Students began the grant making process back in September. Understanding grant-making is the centerpiece of the KICC program. The students work to create and refine a Request for Proposals (RFP) under the supervision of the Leadership program at Southwestern College, then each group accepted applications from other organizations in their school.
KICC is funded through an endowment held with Legacy Regional Community Foundation. Legacy Regional Community Foundation creates a stronger future for our area by building endowments, providing informed leadership, and connecting donors to the critical needs of the region.
Michael Bond is the director for KICC this year and he has been impressed with the dedication of the high school students.
“Their passion to help their community is exciting,” Bond says. “They have done a lot of work and it’s hard work at times but they have had a positive attitude throughout the year and it has been such a great joy to be able to work with people who want to make an impact in their school and their community.”
According to Lindsay Wilke, assistant director for Leadership Southwestern, the goal of the KICC program is two-fold: give young people the skills to become better leaders and provide them with a community arena to put their skills into practice right now.
Students who are a part of KICC and participated were:
• Winfield High School—Avery Hogan and Alec Askins; advisor—Krystal Trimmer.
• Udall High School—Kelsie Hoffman, Alex Perez, Morgan Hack; advisor—Anna Altwies.
• Arkansas City High School—Jaclyn Neal, Maranda Oak, Shane Kieffer; advisor—Jeremy Truelove.
• Central Burden High School—Tab Beavers, Michael Delaney, Greg Hilario, Rylee Liebau, Bailee Ellis, Shelby Bannister, Julie Price, Luca McMichael; advisor—Judy Powell.
In addition to awarding the grants, all of the students in KICC participated in a bus tour of the county and completed a day of service at the Cowley County Historical Museum. Students spoke with volunteers at many community locations and discussed the power of engagement and leadership in the community. They also discussed the benefits of working together as a county. A final KICC event will be held in March, and KICC hopes to complete the year with service work at the Cowley County Humane Society.
“We work from a definition that philanthropy is ‘voluntary action for the public good,’” Wilke says. “Students learn that philanthropy is about giving both money and service to others. To do this effectively, one has to become aware of what exists in the community. What are the needs and assets? This knowledge then informs the grant-making cycle.”
The KICC program was featured in the statewide “Kansas Leadership Center” journal. The article can be read online at:
For more information about Legacy Regional Community Foundation, call (620) 221-7224 or (620) 442-1322 or visit www.legacyregionalfoundation.org/.