Recipients of the Josephine County Foundation’s 2021 Student Enrichment Program pose in front of Taprock Restaurant in Grants Pass, OR.


GRANTS PASS, Ore. — A big area of focus recently has been on our younger ones — how schools are being affected by the coronavirus and on some of the ways that we can help.

“I think the unknowns and short staffing … the district is feeling it and I know a lot of other districts around are feeling it as well,” said Amber Marini.

Marini is in her first year of teaching at Madrona Elementary School in Grants Pass. She was one of nineteen teachers who were awarded grants on Friday from the Josephine County Foundation.

“Our kids are so rad,” said JCF program director Misti King. “We do many community service events such as free vision clinics, we have ‘GAP program’ which is graduation assistance program, we have food programs where we feed community members who are underprivileged, we have campus closets where we clothe students — and their families if they have younger siblings and such — with whatever they need.”

King has been the director of the JCF for more than two years now. JCF was founded in 2011 by students and active members of the community. The foundation provides leadership development and training for students in Josephine and Jackson Counties. JCF is a student led non-profit.

“Last year was not easy for the foundation. I could see this year is different we’re all excited to be back the students in rolled in Josephine County ready to dive back in and be involved in our leaders are all helping us greatly,” said Hannah Bennett.

Bennett is the president of the JCF and she is a senior at Hidden Valley High School. She is hoping to attend college out of state, where she wants to go into sports medicine.

In all, more than $23,000 dollars was awarded to teachers around Josephine County and Rogue River.