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Jumpstart Our Youth – JOY – is a statewide youth philanthropy program that enables more than 3,000 Maine middle and high school students annually to make meaningful grants in their local communities. As part of their Jobs for Maine’s Graduates (JMG) school curriculum, students study the roles of nonprofits and philanthropy through making grants to local organizations serving youth and families. An emphasis on community service and volunteering helps students understand how time and talent complement their “treasure”. Grant funds are provided by collaborating foundation and corporate donors.

Learning how to give smart money teaches our next generation of nonprofit and community leaders and donors how to package their compassion, skills and funds to solve local problems that potentially impact their friends, neighbors and families.

Founded by the Unity Foundation and co-funded by private and corporate donors, the students bring their own passion and creativity to the annual grantmaking process, shaping and improving the process each year.