It isn’t news, so much, that Spruce Mountain’s JMG students donated their $1000 JOY grant to the Tri-Town Ministerial Food Bank. They have done so before and understand that hunger is a community issue that affects many. As volunteers at the food bank they have seen days where donations are down but numbers of people in need is up. What is news is that the students feel empowered to extend their giving to other causes – because now they know how to identify needs, raise money, and make grants that make a difference. They can be part of the solution.
The forty-five Spruce Mountain JMG students in Barbara Jewett’s program raised $1700 above and beyond the JOY grant to provide scholarships. They directed $800 to provide Driver’s Education scholarships because they understand that being able to get to a job is an important part of actually getting a job. By reducing the potential transportation barrier, more students can work.
Spruce Mountain also set aside $900 to provide three, $300 “surprise” scholarships to graduating seniors pursuing continuing education. A school-wide scholarship committee selected the JMG recipients along with students receiving other scholarships at the end of the year. Seniors receiving the money were heading to CMCC, SMCC and WYO Tech in Blairsville, PA. According to Barbara the students see themselves as an active part of creating solutions, “It’s like they now know they can make something happen, make decisions that change lives.”