DECATUR, Ga. — Tionne Jacobs was a member of the Future Health Professions Club while a student at Cedar Grove High School.
“At the time, we didn’t have the funds to compete in certain competitions statewide,” Jacobs said. “I wish we could have done that.”
Zachary Thomas sees a need to help a domestic violence support center where his grandmother volunteers. The psychology major also wants to help older residents, like his grandmother, remain active in their community.
As Georgia State University’s State Farm Scholars, Jacobs and Thomas now have a chance to make a difference in such organizations — if the groups choose to apply. The Perimeter College students are among 10 scholars reviewing grant applications from south DeKalb nonprofits.
The grant program, administered and funded through the State Farm Education Assist program, in partnership with the Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta, will award grants up to $1,500 to organizations that benefit the south DeKalb community. The recipients will be chosen by the students.
The process of learning how to review a grant is an important tool in helping them support programs in their communities, the students said. Jacobs and Taylor — along with the eight other scholars — are being trained by the CFGA through workshops across the community to understand the nuts and bolts of what a grant should entail.
During the workshops, the students also learned about challenges impacting the county and critical strategies nonprofits use to improve community development, education and safety for all residents. The students will continue in the training workshops through the summer before final recommendations are made in August.
“Through case studies, we see what is important and needed to be included in a grant,” Thomas said. They will do site visits prior to the grant approvals as well, to help understand the money’s potential impact on the organizations’ operations.
“We are so excited to work with this dedicated group of young people to help them learn how to give back to their community,” said Vanessa Meyer, CFGA program officer. “Simply by applying to be part of this program these students have shown their passion to make an impact. It’s our role to give them the tools and know-how to make that happen, and to empower them to choose worthy organizations to receive grants. It’s a win-win all around.”
The deadline for applications is noon on July 11. The grants will be awarded in November.