Heartland Foundation has a dedicated history of empowering youth to think creatively and work collaboratively to address challenges and opportunities in their schools and communities. Since 2007, more than 20,000 youth from our 31-county service region have experienced emPowerU.
Pictured above is Skyler Pummill, one of the SPARK Award winners recognized at the ignite Annual Fundraiser on October 5, 2018.
Empowering youth by bringing learning to life
emPowerU is Heartland Foundation’s civic empowerment program for students in grades 6-8. Through this program, every young person is challenged to think about how they can make a difference in their communities now.
Mrs. Donna Bonebrake’s sixth grade class from Plattsburg, Missouri did just that. They traveled to Heartland Foundation to be a part of our emPowerU immersion in 2012. The class and their instructor were unaware of how the experience would impact their county for years to come.
Community-connected youth can make a positive difference
After the emPowerU immersion, Mrs. Bonebrake’s students wrote and submitted a Jump Starters grant application to Heartland Foundation to establish the Clinton County Clothes Closet (4 C’s). Their project was approved and funded by Heartland Foundation in April 2012.
As a result of the efforts put forth by Skyler Pummill, Marcus Rankin, Josh Wilkerson, and their sixth-grade class, the 4 C’s and More Thrift Store continues to serve the Clinton County population to this day.
The SPARK Award is presented to individuals who have created lasting change in their school or community after experiencing Heartland Foundation’s emPowerU civic engagement program.
Learn more about emPowerU here.
Heartland Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity dedicated to championing education and empowering people to build healthy and thriving communities. Founded in 1982 and leading the region’s Healthy Communities movement since 1994.