Fresno State students enrolled in a sociology class called “Philanthropy and Grant Making” awarded a total of $4,000 to three nonprofit organizations at a ceremony May 14.

The Fresno Regional Foundation supplied the money so the students could learn how the grant process works.

The course is an offering of the American Humanics Nonprofit Administration Program at Fresno State. American Humanics is a national alliance of colleges, universities and nonprofit organizations that prepares and certifies college students for professional careers in youth and human service agencies.

At a themed press conference – “Setting the Stage: Youth and Families Front and Center” – the students described their responsibilities during the granting process.

The class began the semester investigating needs in the community, identified two focus areas for funding (youth and housing), researched nonprofit organizations meeting those needs, developed a request for proposals and invited six select organizations to apply for funding. Students then evaluated and scored the proposals and oral presentations.

The students presented the Rev. Sharon Stanley, executive director of Fresno Interdenominational Refugee Ministries, with a check for $2,000. It will be used to provide both “macro” and “micro” support for quality and affordable housing in Fresno. The focus will be in community organizing training and development of Lao and Hmong language community organizing curricula and management, and in support for FIRM’s first affordable-housing redevelopment project.

Connie Clendenan, executive director of Valley Teen Ranch in Madera, received a check for $1,000 to allow the organization to provide an opportunity for boys enrolled in its programs to learn responsibility and social skills through participation in a high school prom.

The students also presented Suzanne Moreno, executive director of Encourage Tomorrow, with a check for $1,000 to enhance the Las Hemanitas (Little Sister) Mentoring Program, a component of the La Rosa Program at Roosevelt High School.

“I have gained hands-on experiences in philanthropy and community leadership,” said student Geneva Skram, a sociology major pursuing the American Humanics Certificate.

“And, while it was challenging to evaluate and choose the best proposals, I learned what it takes for organizations to receive funding to maintain and expand their programs,” she said.

For more information, contact Dr. Matthew A. Jendian, assistant professor of sociology and director of American Humanics Nonprofit Administration Program, at 559.278.2891 or