Generation IMPACT is a grant through UnitedWay Volusia-Flagler.
Press release by Taylor Duguay, United Way Volusia-Flagler
During the first-annual Social Innovation Fund Pitch Competition, four Flagler Palm Coast High School student groups had five minutes each to present their Future Problem Solvers/Community Problem Solvers projects to the United Way of Volusia-Flagler Counties’ Generation IMPACT board members and audience at the a grant competition on Tuesday, March 26.
After the presentations and some private deliberation, the Generation IMPACT Board members announced that all four projects received funding. In total, the group awarded $9,500 in Social Innovation Fund mini grants, which are for projects that address social needs in Volusia and/or Flagler counties.
In October 2018, Generation IMPACT invited local high school and college students to submit project proposals for the Social Innovation Fund. The board narrowed the field to the four finalists featured at Tuesday’s event.
“Juuls are for Fuuls,” a project that aims to provide teens and children with “factually accurate information about the harmful effects of e-cigarette,” was awarded a $500 grant. As the student presenters explained, a survey that they conducted earlier in the year showed that 26% of their peers use e-cigarettes. The group proposed using the grant to build a model that demonstrates the negative health lung effects of vaping.
The two co-creators of “LEAD Children” were awarded $2,000 to host the project’s fourth-annual Child Fair, which connects low-income families with infants and toddlers to early childhood developmen, to allow parents to become the best possible “first teachers” for their children.
“FPC Bulldog Patrol,” a proactive school safety initiative that incorporates safety kits, videos, faculty training, drones and K-9 patrol into FPC’s emergency procedures, received a $3,000 grant, which will help purchase advanced supplies for the safety kits and expand the model to other areas. The group will present their project to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission in April.
“Root to Rise,” a project developed by senior Ekatereena Kouzina, received a $4,000 grant. The project introduces mindfulness in the classroom to improve student success and mental health. The grant will be used to expand the program (which already serves four target student populations within FPC) to the entire school — and, as Kouzina explained during her presentation, hopefully to the district. Kouzina will soon meet with Flagler County Schools officials to discuss district-wide expansion.
“It was inspiring how quickly and emphatically our community embraced the Social Innovation Fund,” Ryan Page, Generation IMPACT Chair and United Way Board member, said in a press release. “The innovative and sustainable projects the students are working on should motivate us all to get involved in our community.”
Courtney Edgcomb, vice president of Community Impact at the United Way, said United Way looks forward to funding more projects in the future as well.