Illinois Organizations Get Nearly $400,000 in Grant Money

Illinois — State Farm® has long believed that for communities to thrive, young people must be empowered as leaders and decision-makers to address real issues and problems. By identifying and implementing projects, students become excited about their education. They learn civic responsibility and develop meaningful leadership and workplace skills. Service-learning connects academics to real-life experiences and accommodates many different learning styles.

Since 2006, the State Farm Youth Advisory Board is charged with helping State Farm implement a $5 million-a-year signature philanthropic initiative. This year the board of 30 students went through nearly 1,000 proposals and granted six organizations in Illinois nearly $400,000 to aid their programs. Check out where the money is going.

Chicago Horticultural Society

The Chicago Botanic Garden's (CBG) Green Youth Farm (GYF) is a youth development program that engages up to 60 high school students in leading the challenge to issues of hunger, obesity, and the lack of affordable, healthy food options in their own communities. GYF engages youth in service through sustainable farming practices, produce sales and donations, healthy food preparation and nutrition education, and neighborhood beautification. The group received $70,000 for their project.

Concordia Place

The Sprouting Out Social Entrepreneurs project integrates our social mission of developing environmentally-conscious teen leaders, who are agents of positive change in their community, with a new socially-conscious expanded business venture. Our teens will create an enterprise which provides innovative entrepreneurial training and internship opportunities, through the development and distribution of sustainable teen-grown and teen-made products. The group received $74,590 for their initiative.

Girls in the Game

The Girls in the Game Teen Squad gives girls opportunities to learn about healthy lifestyles. Teaching younger girls, meeting with professional women to explore different industries, and making a documentary are all part of a normal day for our teen girls. Many of our teens grew up with Girls in the Game and now they use what they've learned as leaders and role models and give back to their communities through service learning. The Squad received $25,750 for their mission.

Lawndale Christian Legal Center

All of LCLC's youth have been arrested at least once, and are all too familiar with the criminal justice system. These youth expressed an interest in the opportunity to experience the law from the other side. Thus, LCLC's Mock Trial was born. Through preparing and putting on a mock trial, court-involved youth will not only learn about legal processes and issues of justice, but will also teach their peers as they themselves learn. The group now has $29,958 to put towards their program.

Pontiac Township High School

Pontiac High School students will lead, develop, and implement a working recovery program under the supervision of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and Dr. Brady Barr of the National Geographic Society to raise and reintroduce Alligator Snapping Turtles, an endangered species, back into their natural habitat. This student driven and developed program will be then implemented in schools throughout Illinois and the surrounding states. The students received $100,000 for their initiative.

True Star Foundation

True Star Foundation (TSF) is a nonprofit organization that provides a creative outlet in the form of literary and professional development programs for youth in the Chicagoland area. The students we work with are predominantly minorities. We strive to be a leader in youth programming by providing enriching environments for teens that encourage creating opportunities for themselves and their communities. The teens will have $73,565 added to their budget for their program.


Missy Dundov, Public Affairs Specialist, 312-914-0857