The Youngstown Foundation works to support nonprofits and those they serve, especially the most vulnerable populations. Each year, our grant awards enhance the capacity of local community organizations to provide programs and services encompassing arts and culture, education, economic and community development, health, human services and the environment.
With expertise and resolve from its history with the 1918 influenza pandemic, The Youngstown Foundation seeks to stabilize and preserve the existing non-profit industry, ensuring programs and services would be available when the current crisis has subsided. The Youngstown Foundation has chosen to respond to COVID-19 in collaboration with The Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley and the Raymond John Wean Foundation. In 2020, COVID-19 grant funds provided services such as emergency housing, food and employment services. Grants were awarded to 25 organizations, totaling more than $800,000.
Through this effort, The Youngstown Foundation provides a 10% match to contributions made to eligible local charities from a donor, company or community partner. The Support Fund helps encourage donations to charities allowing donors to multiply the impact of their gift. In 2020 donations made to the Support Fund resulted in the distribution of more than $1.7 million to 78 agencies throughout the Mahoning Valley, an increase of 12%.
The Youngstown Foundation is committed to furthering implementation of Universal Design throughout our community—where all products and the built environment is aesthetic and usable to the greatest extent possible by everyone, regardless of their age, ability, or status in life. For more than three decades, we have funded special efforts that seek to improve outcomes for people under the age of 21, confronted with physical, mental and emotional challenges. In 2020, $1.5 million of Universal Design grant making supported: families needing help navigating medical treatment, self-reliance and social engagement activities for autistic children, accessibility issues for people with mobility needs.
Beginning with the Class of 2021, qualified graduates of the Youngstown City School District will receive four-year full tuition awards to attend Youngstown State University (YSU) or Eastern Gateway Community College (EGCC). Funds from The Youngstown Foundation will be applied after all other financial aid and scholarship sources have been exhausted and can be utilized to pay tuition, mandatory fees, parking and book expenses. Students interested in learning more about the YSTAR program including how to enroll and additional eligibility requirements, should reach out to their school guidance counselor or the financial aid offices of YSU or EGCC.