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Public Leadership Students Award $5,000 in Grants to Local Nonprofits

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A group in the Public Leadership program presenting.

Public Leadership is a two year living and learning program within College Park Scholars designed for academically talented first and second year students who are interested in developing their leadership skills in order to work for the public good. In their first year, students learn about leadership theories and styles in order to learn more about themselves as a leader. Their leadership, communication, problem solving and teamwork skills are put to the test in their second year, where they are placed into five groups based on an issue of their choice that is affecting the local community and given the opportunity to issue $1000 grants to local nonprofits.

The grant ceremony this year was an uplifting and gratifying way to end the semester. In addition to honoring the work the awardees are doing to support our community, it was especially touching because this marks the end of the 3 semesters the students will spend in the classrooms with us and with each other. Next semester students will continue to apply their leadership skills through individual practicums and internships.
Kelly Brower Assistant Director, College Park Scholars Public Leadership Program

On the evening of Thursday, December 7th, Sophomore students in the College Park Scholars Public Leadership Program came together to announce their grant awards for each selected nonprofit organization. With support from the Do Good Institute, over the course of the fall semester students work together to write a request for proposal (RFP), market their RFP to local nonprofits, review the applications, conduct interviews and ultimately decide who to award the grants to. This year, the nonprofit organizations that were selected included the following:


  • L.E.E.P 2 College focuses on reducing socioeconomic disparities by supporting programs that directly achieve positive outcomes for underrepresented students. They prioritize improving high school graduation rates and college acceptance through educational enrichment activities, internships, community engagement, leadership development and parental involvement.
  • Live It Learn It was founded by a public school teacher in Washington, DC, who sought ways to engage his most disengaged students. Working with high poverty Title I schools, Live It Learn It comes in and takes the burden off of those teachers to serve these students and engage in on-hands field trip experiences.


  • Shepherd's Table addresses food insecurity and homelessness through an array of programs designed to both meet immediate needs and provide sustained social support. Their mission is to improve quality of life, create a pathway towards self-sufficiency, and inspire hope for the most vulnerable. 

Mental Health 

  • Mental Health America of Virginia advocates to improve mental health of all Virginians and intends to use the grant money for incorporating a new chat function to their text warmline to help reduce mental health crises.

Gun Reform

  • Whitney Strong was personally impacted by gun violence in a 2018 Ohio mass shooting. Their mission is to find common ground on gun violence through data-driven responsible gun ownership solutions by leading community based firearm safety and bi-partisan led legislation that are supported by both sides of the political aisle. 

For Media Inquiries:
Kaitlin Ahmad
Communications Manager, DGI
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