Youth who are active in making our community a better place are invited to be nominated for a special award through the Scott County Youth Grantmaking Council (?YGC?), a program of the Scott County Community Foundation.

The Helping Hand Award is open to all youth in grades K-12 who reside in Scott County. Anyone in the community can nominate a student by submitting a letter of recommendation. The youth will then be contacted to submit a list of their activities, including the hours spent on the activities, a description of what they do, and any honors or awards they have received. The YGC members are especially interested in youth who have done something special to set themselves apart from other youth. All nominees will be evaluated on a blind application process

All nominated youth will be invited to the YGC?s annual dinner, held in late May/early June. There, all nominees will be honored, and the winner will be announced, receiving a cash prize.

Last year?s recipients were Madelyn Shelton, a then-junior at Scottsburg High School, and Elijah Everage, a then-third grade student at Scottsburg Elementary School. Madelyn is involved in numerous activities at school and in the community, and helped to start a county-wide youth-led coalition called EMPOWER. Eli is passionate about helping the We Care auction and has challenged many others to participate and donate.

It is estimated that 55 percent of youth ages 12 to 18 volunteer in the United States each year, which is nearly twice the adult volunteering rate of 29 percent. Youth contribute more than 1.3 billion hours of community service each year, with a typical youth volunteering 29 hours per year.

?Philanthropy means a love of humanity, and the youth in our community demonstrate this every day through their actions,? said Community Foundation Executive Director Jaime Toppe. ?We are excited to honor these youth for their service, and to teach them that they don?t have to be wealthy to make a difference!?

To submit a letter of recommendation for a deserving youth, please email to or mail to the Scott County Youth Grantmaking Council at PO Box 25; Scottsburg, IN 47170. Please include why you think the youth is deserving, as well as their grade in school and age. The deadline for nominations will be April 19.

The mission of the YGC is to improve the lives of children in Scott County by providing them a voice through philanthropy. There are currently 85 YGC members, and they learn about philanthropy through fundraising, grantmaking, community service and leadership activities.

You may call Jaime Toppe with any questions at 752-2057.