The Parks Foundation of Highland Park has received a grant from the Highland Park Community Foundation. These funds will support the Park Foundation’s “Foundation For Youth” (FYI) Scholarship Program. FYI offers Highwood residents of lesser financial means the opportunity to participate in recreational programs, including swimming lessons and summer camps.
Though the Highwood families attend the same schools as Highland Park residents, Highwood is not within the tax-body bounds of the Park District of Highland Park, and residents cannot take advantage of the Park District’s resident scholarship program. Highwood also does not have a park district, and the City of Highwood offers limited recreational programs for residents.
The Park’s Foundation FYI Scholarship Program was introduced in 2019 and currently funds approximately 100 learn-to-swim lessons for low-income Highwood children. FYI summer camp scholarships were also made available to Highwood residents with financial constraints during the COVID-19 pandemic. For families facing increased financial hardship due to the pandemic, recreational activities are often the first expenses cut out of a household budget. At the same time, outlets for exercise and enrichment are more critical than ever in promoting physical, social, and emotional health. Further, the need for greater equity and inclusiveness motivates a primary organizational goal of the Parks Foundation to boost funding so that more Highwood residents may enjoy access to Park District programs. The FYI Scholarship program reaches low-income preschool and school-aged children, predominantly Latino Highwood residents.
“The Parks Foundation is grateful for the Highland Park Community Foundation’s generous support for our FYI Scholarship program. Highwood is an important part of our community – our children go to school together,” says Rafael Labrador, the Parks Foundation Board of Directors president. “FYI helps level the playing field for Highwood families.”
About the Parks Foundation of Highland Park: The Parks Foundation of Highland Park is an independent, community-led, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 2016 to support access to the world-class Park District programs and facilities that enhance community life in Highland Park. Since its inception, the Foundation has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants and donations that help keep taxes and program fees in check and bridge the gap between public resources and the funding needed to maintain our vibrant park system. We are committed to providing the resources for everyone in our community to participate in a wide variety of Park District offerings. Scholarship funds raised by the Foundation have allowed Highland Park/Highwood residents of all ages to enjoy athletic and recreational programs and summer camps. In cooperation with government entities, private enterprises, nonprofit partner organizations, and local families, we enrich current and future generations by supporting the open space and recreational programs that bring our community together. For more information and to donate, visit pfhpil.org.
About Highland Park Community Foundation: The Highland Park Community Foundation was established in 1992 at the request of the City of Highland Park to build and maintain a permanent endowment fund. As the philanthropic heart of the community, the HPCF improves and enriches people’s lives with annual grants to nonprofits that provide educational, human service, and cultural programs for Highland Park and Highwood residents. The Foundation’s avowed purposes are to expand opportunities and address the unmet needs of the community – needs that are not met by governmental or other sources.
The Highland Park Community Foundation annually awards grants though a competitive application and review process. For more information, visit hpcfil.org.