Passionate students across Dane County are able to benefit their local communities through the United Way, City of Madison, Dane County and UW-Extension's By Youth For Youth program. Provided in partnership with the City of Madison, Dane County and UW-Extension, BYFY provides a space for student-volunteers to work together and get direct experience making a positive change in the world. “The program teaches kids that they have a voice,” said Brianna Stapleton Welch, the 4-H Youth Development Educator for Dane County who oversees BYFY. “The kids are actively engaging with one another, and while they sometimes argue they learn to respect the opinions of their peers, overcome their differences and work together to help other youth in need.”
The first half of the year consists of the youth discussing the biggest issues that other youth in Dane County face according to Sam Rosenbloom, the Corporate and Community Engagement Coordinator for the United Way of Dane County. From there they narrow down the issues to a few main priority areas and conduct a request for proposal process, this leads to a reviewal of the proposals and funding decisions.