About Our Present
every project makes a difference in our county
Working with local leaders, students identify community needs and perform several service projects each year to address those needs. The projects fall into four strategic areas: health, education, public safety, and leadership. The projects are aimed at improving high school graduation rates and at transforming Josephine County into a vibrant community in which every individual has the opportunity to be healthy, educated, and prosperous.
The students of JCYF had a “clear vision” of how they could meet the needs of those unable to afford vision care in their community – provide a free annual Vision Clinic! Since 2012, about 150 patients each year have received a free eye exam and new eyeglasses, along with being screened for pre-existing conditions and diseases. During one Clinic, students were deeply moved to see the joyful tears of one grandma, Gloria, as she put on her first pair of glasses and could see her granddaughter for the first time.
Seeing the necessity of funding for schools in the community, students of JCYF found a way to help support teachers – teacher grants! In 2014, 11 grants totaling $11,000 were awarded to teachers in the Grants Pass and Three Rivers school districts. This has steadily increased to 23 grants totaling $26,930 being given out in 2019 to teachers in Grants Pass, Three Rivers, and Rogue River school districts – equaling over $100,000 granted through the Student Enrichment Program!
Memorial Day of Service
This day is set aside to honor the late, longtime Cave Junction city councilor. The energy Dan Fiske put into leading his community is reflected in the energy the JCYF students put into community service projects! These projects range from building a nine-hole community disc golf course to creating a wheelchair-accessible trail on a portion of a 282-acre park south of Cave Junction. Over 100 students and multiple businesses come together to make this day possible!
In bringing JCF’s mission statement, “A student-led nonprofit that inspires, engages, and strengthens the community through innovative leadership and service,” to fruition, summer camps provide a vessel to building valuable relationships, leadership characteristics, and teamwork skills. During these three day camps, students and advisors are brought together, working towards common goals, becoming stronger through collaboration.
Almost 30% of children in Josephine County live below the poverty line, one of the key factors leading to lower graduation rates. With the goal of increasing graduation rates and providing basic health and other services to those living in poverty, JCYF students created Campus Closets. These small boutiques provide students with clothing, shoes, school supplies, personal hygiene items, and so much more! Students are even provided access to washing machines and dryers.
The Rogue River, along with the Applegate River, in southern Oregon, attracts locals and tourists through its beauty and recreational activities; at the same time, it takes many lives. To provide life-saving equipment and help prevent summer drownings, Project Float came into existence. Three life jacket loaner stations are currently operating at Indian Mary Park, Schroeder Park, and Fish Hatchery Park, constantly restocked, providing all ages with life-saving jackets.
The world generates at least 3.5 million tons of waste a day! JCYF students strive to eliminate waste in one category – school supplies! Each year, barrels are filled with lightly used school supplies and then are donated to students in need. This varies each year. While the local community benefits one year from these supplies, the next year families living in a country, such as Guatemala, will benefit.
Every 15 Minutes
Not only do the students of JCYF want to support the community, they want to bring new experiences to the classroom by educating youth about the hazards of drinking and driving. This program originates from the 1990’s data highlighting that every 15 minutes someone in the United States dies in an alcohol-related traffic accident. This two-day program creates a simulation emphasizing the effects of drinking and driving, challenging students to think critically about personal safety and mature decision making.
Random Acts Of Kindness
As Kevin Heath once said, “Wherever there is a human in need, there is an opportunity for kindness and to make a difference.” This is a new program to JCYF, knowing that random acts of kindness have a ripple effect that reaches far beyond the community! Keep an eye out for more opportunities in this program.
Listen. Educate. Appreciate. Respect. Notice. These were a few of the concepts the team hoped to bring to Project LEARN. The Josephine County Foundation wanted students to Listen and share their new understanding of disabled individuals. JCF aspired to Educate their peers about the daily challenges of being disabled. They wanted students to Appreciate everyone and themselves. Students were encouraged to Respect others, so they in turn can be respected. Fundamentally, the team wanted students to truly Notice what is going on around them.
About 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of their lifetime, leaving a ripple effect in the lives of many. The purpose of Pink Week is to raise awareness throughout Josephine County’s high schools about breast cancer. The concept originated at North Valley High School in 2014 and has grown to include Hidden Valley, Illinois Valley, and New Hope. Student efforts to raise money and awareness support the fight against breast cancer!
Poverty and COVID-19 have left people needing basic necessities – one of these necessities being food. The students of JCYF have tirelessly participated in making sure families have access to nutritious, fresh food. Meat, milk, eggs, vegetables, fruit, and other fresh foods have been delivered to those families in need.