The American Humanics Student Philanthropy Project at California State University, Fresno celebrated its fourth year of funding local community benefit organizations on by awarding $9,000 to three local organizations in a ceremony Tuesday, May 18.

The 27 students enrolled in Sociology 183, “Philanthropy and Grantmaking,” presented $3,000 checks to the Fresno Institute For Urban Leadership, Fresno Reel Pride Film Festival and the Binational Center for the Development of Oaxacan Indigenous Communities.

The urban leadership institute plans to establish a junior tutor component within the Wise Old Owl Tutoring Program to create first-employment opportunity for junior high and high school students in Fresno’s Lowell neighborhood to serve as leaders and role models.

Fresno Reel Pride will provide a special film screening at Fresno’s Tower Theatre for outreach to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students, allies and film students. The goal is to increase awareness, promote GLBT acceptance, affirm GLBT students in need and entertain people with a unique screening that coincides with Fresno Pride Day.

The Binational Center will implement Ve Sakua Escuela para Padres, a new program in Fresno and Madera to offer weekly classes to give 16 adults the opportunity to learn basic reading and writing skills and how to become actively involved in their children’s education.

The Philanthropy Project, part of the Students4Giving National Initiative of the Campus Compact and Fidelity® Charitable Gift Fund, announced the grants after a semester-long process encouraging student community involvement and leadership in philanthropy. Fresno State was one of five academic institutions selected in 2007 from 35 campuses that applied to receive a $15,000 donor-advised fund to award local grants.

Fresno State students investigated needs within the community, conducted interviews, developed requests for proposals and invited organizations to apply for funding.

This year’s grants bring to $29,000 the grants to 10 organizations over the past four years.

The American Humanics Program at Fresno State, which prepares the next generation of nonprofit leaders, celebrates its 10th anniversary with a “Decade of Dedication” celebration Aug. 20 at Wolf Lakes Park, east of Clovis, to help raise funds to continue the Philanthropy Project.

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