‘Awesome Project’ returns to fund campus proposals

By Daniel Morgan, Staff Writer
Students in the Community Education program’s Fundraising and Grant Writing course are holding another “awesome” contest where individuals or groups can apply for a $1,000 mini-grant to fund a project that will benefit the West Liberty University campus community. 

“Our project is based on the work of the Awesome Foundation,” said student Linda Hall. “Based in Boston, the Awesome Foundation is an ever-growing, world-wide community devoted to forwarding the interest of awesome in the universe. The foundation and its chapters distribute $1,000 grants, no strings attached, to projects and their creators.” 
“For this project, our class will be acting as its own chapter of the Awesome Foundation,” student Kristen Sikorsky said. “We will be selecting a finalist for this $1,000 mini-grant. The only stipulation of the grant is that it has to benefit some area of the West Liberty University campus. We feel that good can be done in any regard, so we decided not to select categories for this grant.”
Any member of the WLU community, including students, faculty, staff and organizations, are able to submit applications until 4 p.m. on March 20 to course instructor Lou Karas; applications are available and can be turned in electronically through email at [email protected] or as a hard copy at the Center for Arts and Education in Main Hall. 
Applicants are required to describe their project in detail, including its potential benefits, and how the project can be implemented with the potential funding. A budget listing of any and all expenses is also required as part of the application.
“The application is very, very simple, and that’s part of our process to keep the grant very open and accessible to everybody,” Sikorsky said. 
After the application deadline, the class as a whole will participate in a vetting process to review all the received grant proposals. Finalists may be asked to meet the class to answer any questions and provide additional information. 
The 2016 Fundraising and Grant Writing Class funded two ideas through the Awesome Project. The basketball court behind Beta Hall received some fresh paint, plus a new volleyball net thanks to Housing and Student Life’s Area Coordinator Luke Tacosik, and former Area Coordinator Jim Compston also applied for a pop-up tent and a large Bluetooth speaker, which is still accessible to all student organizations. 
“I’m sure it’s going to be challenging to come to some consensus for one application,” Karas said, “but I think it’s a good process for them to be involved in.” 
Karas also mentioned that many of the students are studying disabilities services, and ideas to make campus more accessible in any way are welcome. “There’s no idea that isn’t possible to consider,” Karas said. 
The class will hold an award ceremony on April 10 to announce the winner. 
Photo Credit: Daniel Morgan