$242k Awarded to Utah Organizations to Promote Participation in Community and Civic Engagement Initiatives

July, 2020

UServeUtah, the State’s Commission on Service & Volunteerism, has awarded $242,710 in grant funding to local organizations that will increase Utahns’ awareness of and participation in community and civic engagement initiatives. Projects will begin in July of 2020 and carry through June of 2021.

Funding will be provided for a variety of different types of initiatives across the entire state of Utah from rural to urban areas and are all geared towards increasing an ethic of community engagement and improving quality of life in the state. 

Initiatives that will be funded include programs and conferences for high school students such as those by the Utah Division of Multicultural Affairs, Latinos in Action, Uintah County Library, Emery High School, and the Salt Lake City School District Social Studies Department. Through initiatives by Action Utah and the Logan Family Center community members of all ages will be encouraged and inspired to increase civic and volunteer participation by leveraging technology. Community volunteers in Green River and Panguitch will revitalize public spaces while increasing their own community engagement. These projects among others will provide opportunities for Utahns to connect through community and civic engagement and make a notable impact.

Action Utah

Grant Amount: $25,000
Development and Promotion of Civic Engagement 101 Toolkit and the Community Advocacy Skills Toolkit 201

Through text, graphics, downloadable tools, video, quizzes and survey questions, content in both toolkits will cover the history, meaning and importance of civic engagement and community advocacy, real engagement stories, types of advocacy, who can advocate for a cause in Utah, what civic engagement looks like, and a variety of civic engagement actions Utahns can take with tools and tips for success.

Emerging Leaders Initiative

Grant Amount: $10,000
Emerging Leaders Summit

The second annual Emerging Leaders Summit will inspire, motivate, and encourage young Utahns to lead through civic engagement by voting, running, serving, and volunteering.

Emery High School Honor Society

Grant Amount: $2,900
Connecting through Literacy with Seniors & Students

Emery High School students will reach beyond the walls of their school with literacy. Students will travel to community senior care centers and elementary schools to read with seniors and elementary school students.


Grant Amount: $20,000
Canal Commons Public Green Space Initiative

This project is an awareness campaign blended with a hands-on community project. Working alongside Epicenter and partners, local residents will co-create a water-wise, pollinator-friendly outdoor space in the Cottonwood grove. Residents will participate in site cleanups and preparations, planning and design efforts, events held on the project site, and hands-on workshops among other activities.

Latinos In Action (LIA)

Grant Amount: $20,000
Latinos in Action Annual Youth Leadership Conferences

The purpose of the conferences is to give Latinos in Action students the opportunity to publicly celebrate their culture, hear from inspiring speakers and community members, and come together as a local Latino community.

Logan Family Center

Grant Amount: $20,000
Focus on Family Volunteerism Initiative

The Logan Family Center will collaborate with a wide variety of community organizations, including the statewide network of My Discovery Destination! (MyDD!) Facebook communities and their partner schools, local schools and school districts, libraries, municipalities, NPOs, PTA/PTOs, homeschooling groups, and Chambers of Commerce to create a year-long focus on family volunteerism throughout Utah.

Panguitch Prevention Coalition

Grant Amount: $20,000
The Little Dam Outdoor Classroom Revitalization Initiative

Local community members and families will come together to revitalize the Little Dam Outdoor Classroom. Funds will go toward trail maintenance, repairs and replacement of picnic tables and bridges, relaying stone in the outdoor amphitheater, and the planting of new trees among other improvements. The hiking area will be a ‘Hope Hike’ to bring awareness to mental health and suicide prevention.

Recycle Utah

Grant Amount: $5,000
Pick Up Park City Initiative

The funding from this grant will allow Recycle Utah to invest in additional quality trash grabbers as well as garbage bags, gloves, and reflective vests that community members can borrow and utilize while participating in the Pick Up Park City campaign. This initiative will keep the community beautiful and clean and instill a sense of pride and engagement in the community.

Salt Lake City School District Social Studies Department

Grant Amount: $20,000
Generation Citizen Civics in Action Initiative

The Salt Lake City School District Social Studies Department is working to build the capacity of teachers, across grade levels and content areas, to engage students with action civics by continuing their partnership with Generation Citizen (GC). Generation Citizen is a non-profit national organization working to ensure that every student in the United States receives an effective action civics education.

Sandy City Police Department

Grant Amount: $1,600
“Sandy Secure” Initiative

The Sandy City Police department will work to prevent and decrease certain types of property crime by developing a “Sandy Secure” initiative that will raise awareness in the community about property crimes, residential burglaries, vehicle burglaries and theft, mail theft, etc.

The Helper Project

Grant Amount: $3,560
Inspiring Children About Not Dropping Out (I CAN DO) Initiative

I CAN DO teaches movement and gives children the opportunity to experience dance firsthand. Ballet West teachers and dancers work with 5th graders from select schools from across the Wasatch Front. After attending seven months of weekly classes, the students present a public performance. The performance is open to the public and gives students a chance to show their parents and teachers all they have learned

The Village Project

Grant Amount: $5,500
Village Project Mentor Program

The Village Project is unique to Utah in that it is the only youth mentor program with the goal of assisting at-risk court involved youth. Village Project mentors are able to connect youth to the community; helping them to feel that they are a part of it rather than outsiders. Youth get the unique opportunity to attend community activities with their mentors which they likely would never experience otherwise. Funds will allow this mentoring to continue as well as provide for the expansion of opportunities in which the youth are able to explore their communities.

Uintah County Library

Grant Amount: $20,000
Uintah County Library Teen Librarian Initiative

The Teen Librarian Initiative is an out of school program for teens and tweens who live in the remove and rural communities of Uintah County. This initiative will work with teens and tweens to identify areas of interest and pair them with professionals who will work as positive mentors. Through their mentorship with Uintah County professionals, students will cultivate their passions while becoming more connected to their community and exploring options for their futures.

University Neighborhood Partners

Grant Amount: $20,000
Westside Leadership Institute Technology Initiative

The Westside Leadership Institute (WLI) is a mutually beneficial community/university partnership that supports Salt Lake City westside residents’ efforts to take civic action for positive change in their communities. Offered in partnership with NeighborWorks Salt Lake and University Neighborhood Partners, WLI offers 3 courses: Fundamentals, Workshops and Startups, designed to imbue graduates with the confidence to be active leaders in community building and to take action for positive change, and increase engagement between WLI graduates and higher education.

Utah Division of Multicultural Affairs

Grant Amount: $25,000
The Utah Multicultural Youth Leadership Program

The Utah Multicultural Youth Leadership Program strengthens and enhances the lives of the multicultural youth served through the Leadership Summit, Leadership Day, and for the first time, a Youth Leadership event in rural Utah. This program creates a safe place for students from throughout Utah to meet one another, hear inspiring and motivational speeches from leaders that look like them, engage in breakout sessions, and access resources that address their educational needs.

Utah History Day (NHD Utah)

Grant Amount: $9600
Utah’s National History Day: “Communication in History: The Key to Understanding”

Funding will be dedicated to supporting up to 5,000 NHD Utah students at the local and state levels as they research and present topics related to the theme “Communication in history: The Key to Understanding.” This theme centers the importance of communication in civic, social, and political life. Students will have the opportunity to explore examples of diplomacy, conflict, negotiation, activism, and change in various settings where they will analyze both successes and failures of communication in bringing people with diverse interests and identities together.

Utah State Board of Education

Grant Amount: $5,000
Creation of Utah Civic Learning Coalition

Funding will support the creation of a Utah Civic Learning Coalition (UCLC), an informal alliance of civically-engaged organizations whose individual efforts will be enhanced by collaboration and systemic efforts to engage youth in civic engagement. The UCLC will provide an opportunity to build on the partnerships and innovations occurring in Utah K-12 classrooms, bridge the K-12 classrooms with institutions of higher education and the research being conducted regarding civic education, and connect organizations and community nonprofits with K-12 classrooms in meaningful ways.

West View Media

Grant Amount: $9,550
West View Media Community Newsrooms Initiative

West View Media will host a series of special community newsrooms centered on the stories and narratives of communities of color. They will provide journalism and storytelling training and mentorship to participants as they write articles and stories. West View Media will then use their resources to publish and share those articles and stories.