The By Youth for Youth (BYFY) committee, a collaborative program through the Dane County Youth Commission, United Way of Dane County, the City of Madison Community Development Division and UW-Extension Dane County’s Institute of Positive Youth Development, has awarded $36,447 in grant funding to 13 local youth programs and projects, according to a press release from the United Way of Dane County.
BYFY’s funding priorities for 2023 were focused on mental and physical health, school programming and student support, youth experiencing poverty, youth experiencing food insecurity, youth experiencing homelessness, climate change, STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) and immigration.
“The By Youth For Youth program is a great way to engage the next generation of community leaders right here in Dane County,” United Way of Dane County President and CEO Renee Moe said in a statement. “By working together to help identify and fund solutions to real issues our community is facing, these inspiring teens are learning how to collaborate, communicate effectively and accelerate results. All in order to help build community well-being.”
“By Youth For Youth is a one-of-a-kind youth program, and the City of Madison is proud to partner with them,” Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway said in a statement. “BYFY puts decision-making power in the hands of young people in real and structural ways, allowing participants to fund other youth programs, preparing them to be community leaders and participate in policy-making and funding decisions. BYFY supports young people in understanding and exercising the power they have to better their communities.”
Rooted’s Eggcellent Chicken Coop, a youth garden educational chicken coop program at Badger Rock Community Center, will get $5,000. Bayview Foundation will get $3,000 for gender-specific spaces and activities for low-income BIPOC and LGTBQ+ youth to discuss issues and build community with their peers. Another $3,000 will go to Avicenna Society of Madison for an Afghan cuisine startup restaurant that will help address poverty, food insecurity and employment opportunities for Afghan refugee youth in the Dane County area.
Other funded projects include:
- Dear Diary of Madison – Students for Students
- Cultural Connections Inc. – Club Express/Silk Screen Project
- McFarland Youth Center – Care Package Backpacks for the Homeless
- Memorial High School – Latinos Unidos/Latino Festival
- Sun Prairie Westside Elementary, Student Safety Ambassadors – Empowering SP Students to Stop the Bleed
- Madison East High School – Computer Lab Art & Photography
- Briarpatch Youth Services – Teens Like Us/Briar Attire
- Waunakee High School – Investing in Future Educators
By Youth For Youth (BYFY) is a volunteer committee of Dane County high school students that make investment decisions for youth-led programming and initiatives in Dane County using funds from United Way, Dane County Youth Commission and the City of Madison Community Development Division. BYFY members identify critical public health issues impacting youth in Dane County, establish funding priorities, review grant proposals, and recommend funding from County and City grants to support projects developed and implemented by youth to serve youth.