During the 1995-1996 school year, Kosciusko County Community Foundation brought together middle and high school students from Tippecanoe Valley, Warsaw and Wawasee school corporations to form Kosciusko Endowment Youth Services.
A grant from Dekko Foundation helped develop the program aimed at teaching young people about leadership, board governance, team building and effective grantmaking, according to a news release from the foundation. In 2002-2003, Lakeland Christian Academy students joined KEYS.
KEYS members belong to the group from their eighth-grade year until they graduate from high school.
“I have gained knowledge in many areas, including learning how endowments and non-profit businesses work, constructing minutes for a meeting, being financially responsible for the grantmaking funds KEYS distributes each year, playing an active role in a grant cycle and making a difference in my community through philanthropic work,” said Miriam Hagg, KEYS sophomore member from Warsaw Community High School.
Since inception, KEYS has awarded over $396,000 in educational grants and has given away nearly 3,000 books as part of Read Across Kosciusko County, its literacy outreach to second-graders.
To celebrate its recently completed 20th year, KEYS is embarking on a campaign to raise $20,000 toward its endowment, which generates income used for their educational grantmaking and program support. Dekko Foundation is matching every dollar given to the endowment, up to $10,000. KEYS hopes to reach their goal by May and is planning a celebration party for when their goal is met.
KEYS alumni, chaperones, Community Foundation board members and KEYS donors will be invited to attend.
Gifts to the KEYS Endowment can be made online at www.KCFoundation.org/donate.
Checks can be made payable to Kosciusko County Community Foundation, 102 E. Market St., Warsaw, IN 46580. Be sure to designate your gift to the KEYS Endowment.
(Story By The Times Union)