Teen philanthropists award $15K to four organizations addressing mental health issues among Berks County youth

A program that encourages teens to develop an interest in philanthropy and volunteering has awarded grants totaling $15,000 to four Berks County organizations that address mental health issues among youth.

For the 2021-2022 school year, the volunteers of the Youth Advisory Board identified mental health as a major concern for students in Berks County. This year’s Youth and Philanthropy Fund grants:

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$5,000 to Immanuel United Church of Christ for Music & Mental Health, an initiative meant to increase access to mental health support for youth by creating opportunities, increasing accessibility, and developing programs that reflect the needs of our community, in partnership with a music therapist/counselor.

Photo courtesy of the Berks County Community Foundation: Members of the Youth Advisory Board present a summary of their year to the board of Berks County Community Foundation. (left to right) Chelsea Hurley, Twin Valley High School; Saishree Mupparaju, Exeter Township High School; Elise Wang, Wyomissing Area Junior/Senior High School; Jacob Millman, Berks Catholic; and Freya Oesterle, Oley Valley High School.

$4,030 to Bethany Christian Services of Central Pennsylvania to provide equine therapy for young people recovering from trauma, anxiety, depression, and other conditions.

$3,911 to Aevidum to unite schools across Berks County for a countywide launch of
student-driven suicide prevention and mental health efforts through the Talk, Aevidum’s signature high-energy, student-facilitated, interactive workshop.

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$2,059 to EMPOWERMENT Behavioral Health LLC for Move the Body, Heal the Mind, a trauma treatment program aimed at healing physical symptoms of trauma in youth.

YAB annually awards grants from the Youth and Philanthropy Fund of Berks County Community Foundation. From 1998 to 2022, the Youth and Philanthropy Fund of Berks County Community Foundation distributed 117 grants totaling $368,258. Learn more here: bccf.org/youth/

YAB is a program of Berks County Community Foundation and the Youth Volunteer Corps of Reading. The program combines lessons about philanthropy and awarding grants from the Community Foundation with opportunities for service-learning and volunteering provided by the Youth Volunteer Corps of Reading. This year’s YAB had 39 members from schools across Berks County.

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