By Chase Bisson
On Feb. 2 I was lucky enough to get an invitation to the El Dorado Hills Community Vision Coalition Grant Selection Committee Orientation at the El Dorado Hills Community Services District office.
This was a chance for group decision making on how best to spend the coalition’s donation totaling $30,000. Twenty-three grant proposals were submitted, all of which focused on increasing supports and opportunities for youth in El Dorado Hills.
Proposals ranging from High School Sober Grad Nights to the National Teen Leadership Program were reviewed by teams of adults and youth in the community. Training was given on how the applications for grants should be rated. It was in this atmosphere of responsibility that we stayed on task and collaborated to help move the process forward.
Led by Executive Director DJ Peterson and Coordinator Raeann Jones, the selection team reviewed the guidelines for grants to be given top priority. We learned the importance to note a few key guidelines when scoring the grants. Projects that engage youth in leadership roles, address gaps and insufficiencies in youth services and help serve the “under served” are given top ratings by the selection committee. In groups of four, each selection team hashed out their ideas for each proposal packet and rated accordingly.
The Community Vision Coalition values the opinions and ideas of the youth they help cultivate. They promote activities like this in which the youth have a direct hand in how their community is shaped around them. I’m glad I got a chance to be a part of the grant selection committee and had my voice heard. I plan to continue to be a part of this process and help to develop the much needed programs for our youth, my peers and our community. By participating in this process I am reminded of the valuable contributions each person can make to their community whether small or large.
Thankfully, grants provided by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), El Dorado County Mental Health Department, El Dorado Community Foundation, Ronald McDonald Charities, United Way Donors, business leaders and individuals in our community provide the necessary support to continue to fulfill the mission of El Dorado Hills Community Vision Coalition.
For more information or to get involved visit www.edhVisionCoalition.org or call (916) 941-8482.