April 10, 2024

IRCF Awards the Environmental Learning Center $15,000

For over 30 years, the Environmental Learning Center (ELC) has been working to educate, inspire, and empower all people to be active stewards of the environment and their own well-being. Indian River Community Foundation recently awarded the ELC $15,000 to fund their Youth Environmental Leaders Corp (Y-ELC). This program provides youth with the opportunity to utilize their talents while gaining valuable knowledge and experience about the environment.

Liz Yerian, Brooke Sauserman, Chiaka Nwosu, & Barbara Schlitt Ford

The Y-ELC program offers unique STEAM learning opportunities to students as well as participation in events which benefit the community. The program is open to all middle and high school students in Indian River County, with emphasis placed on reaching out to students considered at-risk due to socio-economic and other factors. Students this year have participated in a waste audit, heard from amazing speakers at a Career Day event, performed beach cleanups, went on a sea turtle walk, participated in "Be an Aquarist for a Day" and much more. The ELC hopes to add additional new and unique opportunities to this upcoming year, including growing the number of student participants through collaborations with other community nonprofits that serve youth.

In addition to special activities and events, Y-ELC allows youth ages to build their resume and earn community service hours. This program seeks to provide quality out of school time programming that will increase participants’ leadership skills, identity, self-representation, confidence, conceptual understanding, and interest within STEAM fields as well as their interest and knowledge of the Indian River Lagoon ecosystem and related conservation issues.

Indian River Community Foundation’s discretionary grantmaking is aligned with a vision of a more healthy, prosperous, and generous Indian River County community. Grantmaking priorities are informed by the findings of the most recent community needs assessment and the most current data and information collected on Indian River Indicators. Grants from the Community Enrichment Fund are reviewed by a Grants Committee comprised of volunteers Suzanne Bertman, Pat Brier, Toni Hamner, Dale Jacobs, Wanda Lincoln, Dawn Michael, and Angelia Perry.

IRCF is holding informational sessions for nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations serving Indian River County who are interested in applying for a competitive grant. If interested, please call 772.492.1407 or email Brooke Sauserman to reserve your spot. Please read our Guidelines before registering.

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