Forward Turn

Student Grantmakers program of the Community Foundation

Forward Turn is youth-led charitable grantmaking program that takes a “forward turn” to benefit communities in Fauquier and Loudoun Counties.  Learn more about this year’s guidelines and deadlines here.  

Forward Turn is a partner with Youth Advisory Council in Loudoun County and funded by the S. Murray and Mary H.C. Rust Student Philanthropy Project endowment of the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties.

Forward Turn Youth Advisors consider applications that Strengthen Positive Lifestyles, Create United Communities, and Encourage Community Involvement in Loudoun and Fauquier Counties.  Ideas for grants include initiatives that:

  • Address substance abuse and eating disorders in teens
  • Tutorial, mentoring, and educational support programs
  •   Educate teen users about internet safety
  •   Teach tolerance and anti-bullying to teens
  •   Improve school attendance, reduce high-school drop out, and improve teen motivation
  •   Demonstrate road safety and safe driving practices
  •   Build meaningful links between youth, adults, and/or elderly
  •   Abate teen pregnancy
  •   Help with teen hunger, clothing, shelter, and poverty influences
  •   Bring awareness and helpful programs for teen depression and suicide
  •   Support programs that protect and preserve our environment

Grant-making Priorities

Projects that include collaboration with other youth, groups, churches, or charitable nonprofits

  •  Projects that leverage additional resources, like volunteer time, in-kind gifts of materials or supplies, or that are matched by other funding sources
  •  Ideas that have high impact with a small grant
  •  Proposals written by Youth and for youth

Who is Eligible to Apply . . . and, Who receives the grant?

Forward Turn grant applicants may be faith-based programs, government programs, area charities, and schools.  While the grant application might be written and prepared by an adult project leader, we do require that a youth volunteer and program participant write a Letter of Endorsement that should be submitted with the grant application.  We have a high priority for proposals written by youth.  Check out our past grants for ideas.

Each year, Forward Turn student’s review grant submissions, interview the grantseekers who wrote them, and make tough recommendations to the Board of Directors of the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties for projects that should be funded.  Here’s their past grantmaking work:

2016-2017 Grants $3,500 given in grants for youth driven projects

$1,000 for baby supplies for teen moms to It Takes A Village, Baby

$425 support for a youth volunteer program through Loudoun Volunteer Caregivers

$425 to help sponsor a Youth Summit with Loudoun County Public Schools

$1,500 for a healing hooves suicide prevention program through Ride On Ranch

2015 – 2016 Grants $3,500 given in grants for youth driven projects

$600 to offset materials costs to build a wheel-chair ramp by the Foxcroft School Engineering Team

$800 to the Highlands School Robotics Team

$600 to Loudoun Habitat for Humanity for its Youth Ambassador program

$1,500 to Loudoun Youth to help support and sponsor Step Up

2014 – 2015 Grants $4,000 given in grants for youth driven projects.

$500 for Loudoun Habitat for Humanity to help start a “United Youth” program linking Key Club students as Tuscarora High with volunteers of Habitat to serve lunches to volunteers, raise funds and more for the organization.

$1,000 to Highland School to support a “teens opposing poverty” project, recruiting students to help provide food and personal products to homeless families in Fauquier County.

$1,500 to Loudoun Volunteer Caregivers to help expand the organization’s “youth caregivers” program partnering adult volunteers with youth volunteers helping home and services to housebound Loudoun citizens.

$1,000 to McLean Bible Church to join in a community wide effort with area schools to donate gently used (and with our funds buy) shoes for kids in the Dominion Republic.

2013 – 2014 Grants $5,000 given in grants for youth driven projects

$1,500 For Smashing Walnuts and its fundraising program during the May 6th, 2014, GiveChoose online giving day

$2,000 For INOVA Loudoun and its partnership with James Madison High School to offset costs for children’s play area in the hospital waiting area

$500 To Foxcroft School’s engineering team, to offset costs for materials to build waiting room benches at Middleburg’s Seven Loaves food pantry.

$250 For Step-Up participant Lauren Mooney’s (a Briar Woods High School Student) “Finding your Forte” music therapy program benefitting Sulley Elementary School students

$250 For Step-Up participant Breanna Heiston, Loudoun Valley High School, for her work with A Place to Be music therapy

$500 For LAWS’ partnership with Dominion High School to create a youth suicide awareness program

2012 – 2013 Grants $5,000 given in grants for youth driven projects.

$1,500  For the Highlands School Robotics Program, Warrenton, Va, supporting a STEM-based program that integrates fund, robot building, match, science and teamwork

$500 for Loudoun Cares, Leesburg, VA, providing support for its youth internship program that deploys high school students to area nonprofits for substantive volunteer projects

$1,000 Boulder Retreat for Wounded Warriors, Bluemont, Va, to help support construction of a children’s playground for Vets and their recovering families

$1,000 Foxcroft School All Girls Engineering Team, Middleburg, VA, to offset costs of materials and supplies to engineer and construct a handicap accessible picnic table to be built at Boulder Retreat for Wounded Warriors

$500 For Freedom High’s Gold Ribbon project for Pediatric Cancer awareness, South Riding, VA

$500 for L. Michael Lunsford Middle School’s Learning Instantly program, Chantilly, Va

2011 – 2012 Grants $5,000 given in grants for youth driven projects

$1,400  “Bedtime Stories” by a Heritage High School student to create a DVD project of local elderly reading a child’s book to send to family across the miles.

$2,000  “Work on Hebron House” by youth volunteers with Good Shepherd Alliance to upgrade homeless housing shelter

$600  “Engineering Programs In Service Learning” a Foxcroft School project involving an all-girls engineering service projects in the community

$500 each to support Loudoun Youth Advisory Council’s Annual Step-Up service projects competition within Loudoun County Public Schools.

$500 J. Michael Lunsford Middle School “Mission Green Team” to build a box garden and encourage a clean environment!  Four young middle school boys are on a mission to educate others about how to keep our environment clean.

$500 Freedom High School “BEAST” program to support a before and after school tutoring created and implemented by honor students who set up tutoring for other students in an informal setting at school.  The grant helped expand capacity to add sessions with support for workbooks and other supplies.

2010 – 2011 – Grants $5,000 given in grants for youth driven projects

$2,500 The Loudoun Symphony for the Loudoun Youth Symphony Orchestra (LYSO): Ensembles For Everyone to help develop a pilot program for students with special needs to experience and participate in a musical performance with the LYSO.

$2,500  Woodgrove High School Nature Trail and Outdoor Classrooms to create a nature trail and outdoor classrooms that allow students, both at Woodgrove High School and Mountain View Elementary School, to observe, experience,  appreciate, and learn about the environment and it’s natural beauty. The Student Philanthropy Project funded the first of three phases which includes the installment of one outdoor classroom, two bridges, and half of the trail connecting Mountain View Elementary School with the western perimeter of Woodgrove High School. The trail will also be available for cross country training.

2009 – 2010 – Grants $5,000 given in grants for youth driven projects

$2,000 Loudoun Do Something Now Club: Town of Purcellville  for A “Big Shots 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament” for teens.   The fun, annual event promotes healthy living and activities by teaching teens about the dangers of alcohol and substance abuse. This project began in 2009 and is held at Purcellville High School where many famous athletes and guest speakers from area nonprofit organizations come and talk during this event. SPP is provided funding for the Big Shots tournament for the second time.

$3,000 Wakefield School Service Club To Support the purchase and installation of the “Food Shed” in Fauquier County. Every month, food is distributed by the Fauquier County Food Distribution Coalition (FCFDC) and dispensed at the United Methodist Church of Warrenton. The SPP is proving the funding to purchase a shed and install it at the church’s location.