Jacksonville Youth Engagement Program Awards $70,000 to 15 Local Youth Organizations For Programming

By Benjamin Cox on May 5, 2023 at 4:10pm

Jacksonville area youth are set to benefit from over a dozen grants given out by the Jacksonville Youth Engagement Program.

The JYEP announced yesterday that they have awarded over $70,000 in grants to 15 local organizations that provide 18 programs directly to youth.

Jacksonville Youth Engagement Program Board President Lori Hartz says it’s all about increasing access: “We organized this group of people who wanted to ensure that we had access for low-income youth to be able to participate in summer camps and other youth-oriented activities. Actually, we were really trying to expand access for all with a particular focus on low income. The grants are to provide an opportunity for youth to attend these programs for free.”

Agencies receiving grants are Abraham Lincoln Council Boy Scouts, DJ Hoops, Esprit De Corps Academy, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Girl Scouts of Central IL, Humble Horizons, Jacksonville Area Conference of Churches, Jacksonville High School Football Camps, Jacksonville Park Foundation, Midwest Youth Services, Teen Police Academy, U of I Extension, Washington School Playground, Western IL Youth Camp, and YMCA.

Hartz says that the Tracy Family Foundation provided a grant in the amount of $60,000 to help the more than 20 different programs the groups provide: “The Tracy Family Foundation has an interest in expanding programs in Jacksonville since a lot of the people that work at Dot Foods live in Jacksonville. So they partnered with us on this project, and this is actually the third time that they have funded the Jacksonville Youth Engagement Program. All three years we received $60,000 from them. This is a $180,000 investment they have made in our community to allow this program to be expanded for more kids to participate.”

To find out more about the programs and groups receiving the grants, Midwest Youth Services is hosting a website about programs that target youth in the area at jacksonvilleonestop.org. Hartz says all of the participating organizations will be putting up flyers and information, as well as eligibility requirements and registration information on jacksonville-one-stop website.