From Special Reports

In the fall of 2015, the Coweta Community Foundation launched its first Community Service Team for local freshmen and sophomores. Members of the team met monthly to study local nonprofits and learn more about how they operate, and at the end of the year, they chose to give a grant to the Community Welcome House.

Building on its successful first year, the group added even more members for the 2016-2017 school year and awarded their second grant, this time to the Coweta Organization for Riding, Rehabilitation and Learning (CORRAL). More members joined in 2017-2018, and that year’s grant was awarded to Backstreet Arts. Now, the group is once again opening its application process to new freshmen and sophomores.

The objectives of the Community Service Team are to:
• Build awareness of local nonprofits among high school students.
• Provide an opportunity for active participation in local nonprofit organizations.
• Train young teens to serve as auxiliary board members of local nonprofits during their junior and senior years.
• Bring new ideas and youthful energy to local nonprofit agencies.
• Provide an opportunity for the team to research and select one local nonprofit to receive a grant for a special project or program.

Membership will be determined through an application and interview process among students in the first two years of high school. Students will attend no fewer than five monthly meetings during which they will be introduced to the various nonprofit organizations serving Coweta citizens. The students will participate in two workdays each year with a nonprofit agency. Their first meeting will be Sept. 18 and all meetings will be held at the Coweta Community Foundation’s new offices at the Newnan-Coweta Chamber building at 23 Bullsboro Drive in Newnan.

At the end of the two-year participation, nonprofits may invite the participant to serve as an auxiliary member of the Board of Directors. In addition, a standout sophomore will be awarded a $500 scholarship from the Coweta Community Foundation.

Leading the program are Foundation board members Cynthia Bennett, a retired Coweta County educator and vice president of the Newnan-Coweta Chamber, and Michael Nix, who works for the State of Georgia’s Local Government 911 Authority.

Orren Jones, the newly named executive director of the Coweta Community Foundation, said, “The Community Service Team is a wonderful opportunity for teens to learn about philanthropy and introduce them to areas students often do not discover until well into or after college. Coweta’s students may not realize it yet, but they are this community’s future visionaries, philanthropists, executive directors and board members. They will surely go on to do remarkable things, and this is a unique opportunity for them to gain a head start in those endeavors.”

Application forms will be available in school counselor’s offices when school resumes, including the counselor’s offices at Newnan High School, Northgate High School, East Coweta High School, Heritage School, Trinity Christian School, Central Christian School and Landmark Christian School. Home school students may contact the Foundation office directly. Applications are now available on the Foundation’s homepage, located at cowetafoundation.org. Applications are also available to anyone by emailing info@cowetafoundation.org or by calling the Foundation at 770-253-1833. Applications must be received by Sept. 4, 2018 for consideration, and late applications will not be accepted.