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Community 101 and Communicare Engage Century and Glencoe Students in Philanthropy

June 13, 2024 - Century and Glencoe High Schools have different but similar ways of exposing students to the world of philanthropy. Century High School offers the Civics and Community Service (Community 101) class, and Glencoe participates in a program called Communicare.

Community 101 is a class taught by Erica DeBois that prepares juniors for careers that involve working with and helping people in our community. Thanks to generous support from the PGE Foundation by way of the Oregon Community Foundation, students have access to $5,000 that can then be given as grants to nonprofit organizations. Students spend time researching community needs and determining an area of focus. From there, they identify local charitable organizations that specialize in meeting that need. They solicit proposals from organizations, vet them, and determine which of them will receive the grants. This year, students focused on organizations that address substance use disorder in the community and awarded their sub-grants to Youth Contact ($2,000) and For a Health ($3,000).

Communicare is an organization that works with high school students to raise money for subsequent donation to nonprofits of their choice that support community needs. The Harold and Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation is the funder; for every $1 raised by a school/group, the CARE Foundation will match it with $10. Earlier this school year, Glencoe’s Student Government class, taught by Tom Stephens, sent out a survey to students to gather their input on the area of need they most wanted to see addressed. Taking that feedback and their own ideas into account, Leadership students selected healthcare as their focus. From October through March, students organized several fundraisers, including 2 Miracle Minutes at a basketball game and a theater production, and by selling treats in school. They raised approximately $1,600, which brought their total to just over $16,000. Twelve nonprofit organizations applied for sub-grants, and students narrowed the applicant pool down to four. They then conducted interviews with each finalist. In the end, they donated $2,000 each to David’s Harp and Peace in Schools, and $6,000 each to Educate YA and Healthy Living Community.

Junior Rona Isakharov and senior Reagan Thomas led this year’s Communicare effort at Glencoe and shared this: “We have both been in Communicare for all of our years of high school, and it has meant so much to us and our team. Communicare has given us the opportunity to be the one in charge and have our voices heard. Being part of this process has taught us so much about time management, teamwork and communication, and what it means to be leaders. With no other organization would we have been able to donate this amount of money to nonprofits and see the direct change it was able to make. We are so grateful to our advisor, Mr. Stephens, for his endless support; our Communicare liaison, Kelli, for answering all our questions; and, lastly, to the Harold and Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation for their generosity in serving our community.” Scroll down to see photos from Century High's Community 101 celebration...