Student United Way


Student United Way

Tour of SpartanNashWith self-determined goals to improve the mental health of Logan County youth and address issues of substance misuse, hunger, and personal hygiene, the Student United Way committee recently awarded $28,118 in Youth Allocations grants to 12 local applicants. The money, raised during last fall's United Way Campaign, will directly impact students in their schools over the summer or next school year.  You can see the breakdown of grant recipients below.

Student United Way is our six-month leadership develop program, comprising two juniors and two seniors from every Logan County high school.  After learning about the human service needs of the community, the 28-member panel develops its own criteria for funding. They then review grant requests like their adult counterparts on United Way’s Allocations Committee and hear live presentations from many of the applicants.

Students then decide how to split their money.  This year, they had to figure out how to distribute $28,118 with over $70,000 in requests.   

The students collectively arrived at their conclusions after a series of experiences and discussions during United Way's year-long leadership development program.  The year started with a poverty simulation. The students learned about economic development in the community with a walk through downtown Bellefontaine.  A tour of the Logan County Jail and Courthouse included details about how juvenile crime impacts families.  At the SpartanNash warehouse (pictured here), students learned about local career opportunities.  Richwood Bank provided information about financial literacy.     

"I learned so much more than I even expected," said Abigail Hermiller, a senior at Calvary Christian.  "I learned the true needs of the community and all the work good people do behind the scenes to help. I will admit, some of the things I was exposed to this year were very disheartening.  It was only later, when we were deciding to whom to give the money that I realized that there are so many good people striving to make a difference, and that was so refreshing to learn." 

"We received hands-on experience about real world situations in Logan County, said Craig Stanford, a junior from West Liberty-Salem.  "I was able to see the parts of the county that are harder to see from a student perspective."

2024 Grant recipients include:

  • Bellefontaine High School – Opp Pro Program – $1,500 – food for an after-school program for at-risk students
  • Benjamin Logan FFA – $1,800 – for a mentoring program that pairs high school students and elementary students with disabilities while they learn about agriculture
  • Cub Scout Pack 81 – $2,000 – for Cub Scout programming
  • Greater Riverside Area Community Encouragers – $1,306 for a weekly summer food program in DeGraff
  • Indian Lake High School SADD – $2,300 – for a speaker at an all-school assembly to kick off their annual Red Ribbon (anti-drugs) week
  • Logan County Health District – $1,106 – for health/hygiene kits to be delivered to all local schools
  • Lutheran Community Services – $4,000 – for Our Daily Bread
  • Journey Living Ministries – $2,106 – for the GOAT mental health program
  • Midwest Regional ESC – $4,500 to conduct the Summer Autism Academy
  • Ohio Hi-Point SOS – $3,000 for an in-school pantry with food and hygiene items
  • Vineyard Church of Bellefontaine – $3,000 – for weekend backpack meals for Bellefontaine Schools
  • West Liberty Elementary – $1,500 for their all-school Literacy Night

Students participating in Student United Way this year include:  

  • Alexis Buffkin, Ava Campbell, Nolan Core, and Caleb Torsell from Bellefontaine High School.
  • Mya Burrey, Evan Carpenter, Kate Gulick, and Carter Lyden from Benjamin Logan High School.
  • Abigail Hermiller, Zeke Reynolds, Nora Thornton, and Ezekiel Wylie from Calvary Christian.
  • Ava Faler, Amelia Schmiedebusch, Daniel Wahl, and Heath Wilson from Indian Lake.
  • Travis Brooks, Laila Lynch, Tyler Michael, and Kieanna Notestine from Ohio Hi-Point Career Center.
  • Nate Copas, Brice Kauffman, Avery Perk, and Emma Saylor, from Riverside High School.
  • Ivy Cline, Craig Sanford, Carter Titus and Akira Whitman from West Liberty-Salem High School.

"Student United Way opens the eyes of the students as to what goes on in the community that many aren't aware of, and shows how much need there still is, said Mya Burrey, a senior at Benjamin Logan.  "After seeing the needs, being given money to allocate toward our community allows us to be able to make an impact as well." 

"I think what I enjoyed most about United Way was interacting with the others students and hearing their opinions and ideas," said Hermiller.  "There were multiple times when other students had me thinking harder about certain topics than I ever have before.  We were challenging each other in a healthy way without even knowing it!"

We thank Melody Couchman and volunteers Michael Wilson, Chad Wilkinson, Ben Stahler, and Lexi Roby for their help as advisors with Student United Way this year.  Student United Way will resume in the fall.

Student United Way will resume in the fall.

CAPTION BELOW:  Peers presenting to peers!  Students from the Benjamin Logan FFA present to the Student United Way committee seeking grant money for their program during the Allocations process.