BOISE, Idaho CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE: CTL) recently donated $30,000 in grants to 36 nonprofit organizations around Idaho as part of the company’s Middle School Philanthropy Program. Students at 10 middle schools across the state were given the opportunity to distribute $3,000 per school among local nonprofits impacting their particular community.

As part of the program, students in selected classes at the schools picked each nonprofit after doing research on the various organizations and voting as a group on how to allocate their funds. The program’s purpose was to increase awareness among middle school students of various needs in their communities. In addition, the program aimed to create a lifelong interest in volunteerism and community involvement, develop skills to allocate limited resources and increase civic engagement.\

“CenturyLink is dedicated to enhancing the communities we serve in a meaningful way,” said Jim Schmit, vice president and general manager for CenturyLink in Idaho. “This program is a unique opportunity to enable students to connect with their community in a way that will raise awareness of needs and hopefully plant a seed with them for a lifelong interest in giving back.”

The ten schools that awarded grants to nonprofits were:

  • Crossroads Middle School in Meridian: Students in Jason Dransfield’s class awarded $1,000 to Camp Erin, $1,000 to Camp Rainbow Gold, $500 to the Women’s and Children’s Alliance and $500 to the Idaho Food Bank.
  • Idaho Virtual Academy: Students in Lisa Frost’s class awarded $600 to the First Tee of Idaho, $600 to the Idaho Doghouse Project, $600 to the Haven Shelter, $600 to Simply Cats and $600 to the Canyon Animal Shelter. 
  • Jerome Middle School in Jerome: Students in Kim Lickley’s Advisory class awarded $1,020 to South Central Community Action Partnerships, $1,140 to St. Luke’s Magic Valley Health Foundation and $840 to the Jerome Animal Shelter.
  • Kimberly Middle School in Kimberly: Patricia Weber’s Student Leadership Team awarded $1,500 to the Boys and Girls Club of Magic Valley and $1,500 to the Fifth Judicial District CASA program.
  • Madison Middle School in Rexburg: Students in Michael Bone’s class awarded $700 to Four Paws Pet Adoption, $700 to the Rexburg Community Theatre, $450 to the Idaho International Summerfest, $450 to the Orphanage Support Services Organization (OSSO), $350 to the Rexburg Police Department’s DARE program and $350 to the Madison Education Foundation.
  • Ririe Middle School in Ririe: Students in Ken Craner’s class awarded $1,000 to the Ririe City Public Library and $2,000 to the Ririe Senior Center.
  • Rolling Hills Public Charter School in Boise: Students in David Shubert’s Community Service class awarded $1,000 to Meals on Wheels, $500 to the Idaho Humane Society, $250 to the Boys and Girls Club, $250 to the American Kestrel organization, $250 to the Genesis Service Dogs, $250 to the Make A Wish of Idaho, $250 to Computers For Kids and $250 to the Women’s and Children’s Alliance.
  • Vallivue Middle School in Caldwell: Students in Britney Barton’s Leadership class awarded $1,500 to the Canyon County Animal Shelter and $1,500 to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. 
  • Vision Charter School in Caldwell: Students in Mark Boothby’s class awarded $1,500 to the Canyon County Animal Shelter and $1,500 to the Treasure Valley Down Syndrome Association.
  • William Thomas Middle School in American Falls: Students in Melanie Williams’ class awarded $1,500 to the Katherine Winter Davis Little Theater and $1,500 to the South Eastern Idaho Community Action Agency. 

“The Philanthropy Program gave my students an opportunity to look beyond their own needs by focusing on the needs of others,” Dransfield said. “This helped them learn to be more community minded. I have students who were so interested in some of the groups we studied that they have inquired about volunteer opportunities. I had other students who already do volunteer work with local charities and they were able to share with the rest of the students why they are so involved in the different groups. Overall, I think this program is a great way to get students to focus on helping others, and I’m thankful to CenturyLink for making it possible.”

“Helping facilitate students in developing a deeper understanding of philanthropy was much more rewarding than I had initially planned,” said Weber “This small group of students took the lead in every aspect of this project: learning about nonprofits, developing a mission statement and criteria, researching nonprofits in the area, presenting to our staff, presenting to our student body and managing a small fundraising component for selection purposes. I’m grateful to CenturyLink for encouraging our young people to have opportunities for authentic projects of this magnitude.”

About CenturyLink

CenturyLink is the third largest telecommunications company in the United States and is recognized as a leader in the network services market by technology industry analyst firms. The company is a global leader in cloud infrastructure and hosted IT solutions for enterprise customers. CenturyLink provides data, voice and managed services in local, national and select international markets through its high-quality advanced fiber optic network and multiple data centers for businesses and consumers. The company also offers advanced entertainment services under the CenturyLink® Prism™ TV and DIRECTV brands. Headquartered in Monroe, La., CenturyLink is an S&P 500 company and is included among the Fortune 500 list of America’s largest corporations. For more information, visit www.centurylink.com.