Opportunity Fund for Southshire Youth

Established in 2018, the Opportunity Fund for Southshire Youth will ensure an ongoing source of revenue for dynamic and innovative youth programs in Bennington, North Bennington, Pownal, Shaftsbury, and Woodford in perpetuity.

Youth are important. When young people in a community thrive, they make their communities more vibrant. They volunteer in the community and help their neighbors. They speak up and speak out. They are engaged in school. They are creative and play sports. They take part-time jobs and internships. They give a community a sense of pride and promise. When youth struggle, not only are their lives harmed, the community’s future is put at risk.

What We Fund

The Opportunity Fund for Southshire youth awards grants to creative and effective initiatives in Bennington, North Bennington, Pownal, Shaftsbury, and Woodford that support, educate, and empower Bennington area youth, particularly low-income and disadvantaged youth, to be engaged and successful in school, work, community, and life.

The Fund’s current priorities are projects that:

  • Promote youth leadership and empowerment
  • Expand youth engagement in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) activities and increase youth exposure to STEAM careers
  • Support youth entrepreneurship
  • Elevate and assist marginalized and economically disadvantaged youth 

Who May Apply

The Opportunity Fund for Southshire Youth was established in 2018 by the Community Foundation and local partners as a permanent philanthropic resource to support youth in the Bennington area. Projects must benefit youth entering or enrolled in 6th through 12th grades (typically ages 12 to 18), who attend Mount Anthony Middle School or High School and/or who live in the communities served by the those schools: Bennington, N. Bennington, Pownal, Shaftsbury, and Woodford.

All applicants to programs at the Vermont Community Foundation must meet these guidelines.

Grant Size

Grants of up to $4,000 are typically awarded from this fund.

Deadline and Notification

The Opportunity Fund for Southshire Youth 2021 deadline is being finalized at this time. Please check back in early 2021 for the latest program information.

Application Process

All applications must be submitted electronically. Visit our Online Grants Center page to learn how and to register for a new account. Or click here to access your existing account.

To help you prepare, click here to preview a sample of the application.