Skip to Main Content
Dsc05781 reduced

Teen Trust Youth Philanthropy Program Grants More Than $15,000, Application Open for Serving as a 2020-2021 Trustee

April 10, 2020

Members of Teen Trust, a youth philanthropy program of the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa (CFNEIA), awarded $15,736.72 in grants to eight nonprofits serving Black Hawk County.

“This was a special year for the Teen Trust program,” said Tom Wickersham, CFNEIA program director and Teen Trust staff advisor. “We celebrated the 25th anniversary of the program by increasing the students’ allotted total grant amount from $10,000 to $15,000 along with an additional $700 they fundraised for these nonprofits.”

The nonprofits that received a grant, along with the project name and grant award amount, include:

  • Friends of the Family, Victim Services, $2,500
  • Hawkeye Community College Foundation, Family Literacy Project, $2,358.36
  • House of Hope, Equal Access to Technology, $1,500
  • North Star Community Services, Music Therapy for Seniors, $2,520
  • Operation Threshold, Pocket Change, $2,000
  • Riverview Center, Sexual Assault Crisis Response Toolkit, $2,500
  • SuccessLink, Young Parents Together, $1,358.36
  • Unity Presbyterian Church, No Strings Attached, $1,000

The grant funds are available to 501(c)3 agencies addressing community needs in Black Hawk County and are within criteria that the 21 students from local high schools determine as priorities. Using a grant application system, site visits and training seminars, the trustees work as a team to decide which organizations to assist through financial aid and/or volunteerism. The group of teens is led by a student director, a local college student who organizes and guides the students' activities. Bekah Bass, a junior at the University of Northern Iowa, served as the Teen Trust student director for the second year in a row.

“In previous years, the trustees have had the opportunity to present their grant checks to the organizations in person and have had to forgo that experience this year due to the COVID-19 crisis,” said Bekah Bass. “The students were really looking forward to that opportunity after becoming so invested in learning about their community and these nonprofits over the past year. However, they have gained valuable insights and other experiences that will stay with them for a lifetime.”

2019-2020 Teen Trust members include (*indicates officers): Koro Castillo, Mira Keeran, Ian Lewis, Sofia Muñoz, Ryan Westhoff* and Alex Williams from Cedar Falls High School; Claire Schaefer from Columbus Catholic High School; Tristen Prouse from Union High School; Meia Kearney Ledesma from Valley Lutheran High School; Caleb Borwig, Audrey Dillavou, Kaytlen Johnson and Brianna Nash* from Waterloo East High School; Edina Kuduzovic*, Matthew Loes, Anna McNally, Maianh Nguyen, Natalie Seemann, Zonish Tahir, Maya Winkel* and Kyla Wright from Waterloo West High School.

Bekah Bass will continue to serve as the student director of the Teen Trust program for the 2020-2021 season.

“I’m thrilled to be staying on board with the Teen Trust program,” said Bass. “As we close our current season, we are already looking ahead and are currently working on recruitment of trustees for next year.”

The online application to become a 2020-2021 Teen Trust trustee is available online at and applications are due by Friday, April 17. Black Hawk County area high school freshmen, sophomores, and juniors who are engaged members of their school and community are eligible to apply to serve on Teen Trust.

Questions regarding the Teen Trust program can be directed to Tom Wickersham at or 319-243-1356.

Back to News & Events

Connect on Facebook