Nine local nonprofits that provide valuable services for the county’s most vulnerable and at-risk youth received grants from the Giving Circle at Placer Community Foundation (PCF). The grants were formally given on the evening of Sept. 5 at a Youth Development Grant Reception, held at Casque Wines in Loomis.

Awardees include:

• A Touch of Understanding
• Blue Line Arts
• Child Advocates of Placer County
• Compassion Planet
• McLaughlin Theatre Company
• ReDirect Nuevo Camino
• Stand Up Placer
• Take Note Troupe, Inc.
• Phoenix High School – ATLAS Learning Academy – Western Placer Unified School District

Grant funding to the aforementioned organizations supports a variety of programs that serve youth and young adults ages 14-21. Such programs offer opportunities for young people to learn critical life and leadership skills; form lasting relationships; and gain a stronger sense of belonging, empowerment and a bright future.

One example of youth development success can be found at Compassion Planet, a nonprofit that offers a year-long intensive mentor program that provides youth with 1,200 hours of paid employment, in addition to teaching life skills, coping skills and nutrition. Program Director and Clinical Social Worker, Jessica Lyon, was a guest speaker at the event and introduced Alex Hubbard, a youth who recently completed the program.

Compassion Planet’s Program Director and Clinical Social Worker, Jessica Lyon (left), with Alex Hubbard, a youth who recently completed their program.

“Alex is one of our greatest success stories,” said Lyon, who explained that Hubbard originally struggled with time management, arriving up to 90 minutes late to work. Hubbard grew up in 26 different foster and group home environments, but through the program, built lasting connections and received the guidance she needed to succeed.

“You gain a second family,” shared Hubbard of the program. “I want to be the voice for other foster youth who have had the same battles.”

Today, Hubbard is a store supervisor, excels at time management, and learned cooking skills and tax accounting through the program.

There are many deserving youth just like Hubbard who need community support, and members of the Giving Circle at PCF feel fortunate to help so many worthwhile programs. Year to date, the Giving Circle has granted nearly a quarter of million dollars to organizations who serve local youth. Learn more about the Giving Circle and how to get involved at placercf.org/the-giving-circle/.

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