The New Castle County Youth Philanthropy Board of the Delaware Community Foundation has awarded $15,000 to eight New Castle County nonprofit organizations.

The DCF’s New Castle County YPB comprises 26 New Castle County students from public, independent and diocesan high schools. Since September, YPB members have been studying youth issues in their neighborhoods and schools, learning about community service and grantmaking, and visiting nonprofit organizations.

This year’s New Castle County YPB chose to focus on organizations and programs that support young people and their families affected by mental health challenges and/or mental or physical disabilities.

— Autism Delaware: $2,500 will help fund the PEERS program, a 16-week social skills intervention program to help teens learn ways to make and keep friends. The program has been found to help students with Autism Spectrum Disorders, ADHD, anxiety, depression and other socioemotional problems.

— Best Buddies: $1,000 will help fund the Friendship Program. The Friendship Program builds one-to-one friendships between people with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities.

— Catholic Charities: $2,500 will help to fund community-based counseling services to children from birth to 17 years old who have problems severe enough to threaten their home, school or day care placement. The program helps to improve mental health of the clients and improve the function of their families.

— Bear-Glasgow YMCA: $1,500 will help fund the YMCA of Delaware’s Adaptive Fitness program. The program provides individuals with disabilities the opportunity to be physically active in a community setting.

— One Village Alliance: $2,500 will help fund the Raising Kings collaborative program aimed at changing the image and expectations of men and boys of color by elevating the level of positive male engagement. This program meets a developmental need in boys for positive relationships as a key strategy to suicide and violence prevention.

— Delaware Guidance Services- $1,000 will help fund dialectical behavior skill building groups for at-risk children and youth. The program will help children in the county who have emotional or behavioral difficulties.

— SOAR: $2,500 will help fund side-by-side therapy groups for teen victims of sexual abuse and assault and their loved ones. Clients are helped to address their needs as victims, as all are helped through the process of recovery.

— Supporting Kidds: $1,500 will help to fund the Healing Pathways program. The program focuses on five areas: accepting the loss, understanding the permanence of death, remembering loved ones, planning for a future and celebrating connections.

The Delaware Community Foundation sponsors a Youth Philanthropy Board in each Delaware county to encourage high school students to become more involved in philanthropy. Each board of high school students is allotted a pool of money to give as charitable grants. The students learn about philanthropy and effective grantmaking, study youth issues in their neighborhoods and schools, solicit grant proposals, conduct site visits, and award grants to those they determine to be most deserving.

This year’s New Castle County YPB students are Siawaa Antwi, sophomore, Freire Wilmington Charter School; Jake Barks, senior, St. Elizabeth High School; Charlotte Berl, senior, St. Andrew’s School; Scott Bernetich, junior, Charter School of Wilmington; Jacob Campbell, senior, William Penn High School; Julianna Cann, junior, Padua Academy; Rachel Carlton, junior, Caravel Academy; Sarah Connolly, senior, Sanford School; Keri Edwards, senior, Brandywine High School; Lon’yea Ellis, junior, Delaware Design Lab; Cecilia Ergueta, junior, Wilmington Friends School; Matthew Etzrodt, senior, Archmere Academy; Matt Kaczowka, senior, Red Lion Christian Academy; Peter Kardash, sophomore, Salesianum School; Nicole Kennedy, junior, Conrad School of Science; Jane Lyons, sophomore, Ursuline Academy; Megan McCormick, senior, Newark Charter High School; Emma Miller, junior, Cab Calloway School of the Arts; Aliyah Navarro, senior, Wilmington Christian School; Alivia Scott, junior, Appoquinimink High School; Alyxandria Sisofo, junior, St. Georges Vo-Tech High School; Cassi Sullivan, junior, Tower Hill School; Victoria Taylor, senior, Tall Oaks Classical School; Paige Ward, junior, Hodgson Vo-Tech High School; Joseph White, senior, St. Marks High School; and Kayla Woods, junior, Tatnall School.

Retired Delaware educator Phyllis Wynn established the Youth Philanthropy Fund in 1999 because she wanted to encourage youth to become more involved in philanthropic ventures. Students who serve on the YPB are nominated by their principal or guidance counselor.

For information, visit delcf.org or call 571-8004.