Dear Foundation Friends,
When trails open in May, it feels like everything expands. Our valley has abundant open terrain. There are occasional surprises on my morning run like a patch of snowpack, an obstinate moose, and occasional ankle-deep mud, but it’s so good to be outside.
Just like the trails, our community is reappearing. This feels like a celebration of our local cooperation – masks, vaccines, distancing, and care of each other. It also feels vulnerable to be in a communal workspace, outside with a few vaccinated friends, or even visiting family. I hope we will continue to care for each other in the coming months. Community trust is built day-to-day by our actions.
In one of my favorite collective moments, the Teton County Scholarship Program
handed out 71 college scholarships for a total of $704,300. The Community Foundation partners with the Fund for Public Education to make this program possible. Sixty-four donors gave to the scholarship program. There were 124 high school seniors who applied and every one of them received an award. The average award per student was $5,650. There were 24 fewer applicants for scholarships this year compared to last year. We will continue to analyze the data to better understand if this was a result of the unusual pandemic year.
The Foundation’s Youth Philanthropy
program also awarded $25,000 in total funding to local nonprofit partners. Youth Philanthropy involves students from five local high schools who learn about the grant process, discuss community impact, and as a team, make hard decisions about awarding funds. Early introduction to philanthropy teaches life skills. Each year, the Foundation recognizes an exemplary senior – Abigail Heimerl in 2021 – and awards a $1,500 Future Ms. Old Bill Scholarship as well as $500 to donate to the nonprofit of her choice.
Thank you for your generosity that spreads across generations. As we expand into the community to see each other again, I hope you will take it slow and be mindful of your needs and those of our residents. Also, watch out for the occasional stubborn moose.
Happy Mother’s Day!
President, Community Foundation of Jackson Hole