Six students from Ottumwa High School currently serve on the Legacy Youth Alliance. Students include: Collin Kepner, Christian Silva-Zuniga, Melody Trucano, Juan Carapia, Evan Hanson and Eddy Aquino. Membership on the alliance includes nine students from other high schools in the county, including Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont, Cardinal, and Pekin. “I learned about this from my TAG teacher,” said Trucano. “I thought it would be a good way to help out my community.”
Students were selected based on an application and interview process. They meet monthly and conduct two grant cycles per year. Student members recently read, scored and evaluated the Alliance’s first grant round. “It’s a great way to learn about the community,” said Aquino. Students read seven grants but only could fund four this round.
“It’s tough,” said Kepner. “There is only so much money. We had to decide the most meaningful” projects.
The Legacy Youth Alliance was formed in April, 2017 by Amy Nossaman, Grants Program Manager at the Legacy Foundation. “My goals for the members of the Legacy Youth Alliance are to strengthen their leadership skills while they learn about the needs in their communities,” said Nossaman. Students meet community members that provide programs and services to our youth.
New member applications for the 2018-2019 school year will be accepted starting April 1. Interested students are encouraged to contact a current Legacy Youth Alliance member or Amy Nossaman at [email protected]
“It’s been an eye-opening experience,” said Silva-Zuniga.