CSU entities receive grants from Bohemian Foundation

Several Colorado State University entities recently received Pharos Fund grants from Fort Collins-based Bohemian Foundation.

CSU recipients include Campus Connections (formerly Campus Corps), the Center for Public Deliberation, and the Little Shop of Physics.

They were among 33 local nonprofit groups that recently received a total of $500,500 from the Pharos Fund, started in 2001 by philanthropist Pat Stryker. The fund makes awards of up to $30,000 to eligible 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations and governmental units.

PrintHow the grants will be used

Campus Connections, which received $10,000, is a three-credit service-learning course for CSU students who serve as mentors to at-risk youth ages 11-18 in a structured group setting. It is operated by faculty in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies. Youth who participate are typically experiencing a range of challenges, such as involvement in the juvenile justice system, drug/alcohol use, mental health issues, poverty, family issues, abuse and neglect. Bohemian Foundation funding will support essential case management services for the youth and clinical supervision of graduate student family therapists, who are on site for each session of Campus Connections providing therapeutic support, assessments and interventions.

The Center for Public Deliberation, based in the Department of Communication Studies, received $20,000 from the fund, representing the ninth grant the center has received from the Foundation in 10 years. The center, which has become a national model for student involvement in local deliberative efforts, will use the money to fund events, summer faculty support, and a graduate student’s work over the next two semesters.

‘Critical’ funding

“The funding from the Bohemian Foundation is critical to help us do the work that we do,” said Martin Carcasson, founder and director of the center. “We do our work as a public service, so funding from the Bohemian Foundation allows us to continue doing what we do without having to charge.”

It is the fifth year of Pharos funding for a Little Shop of Physics project called “Experiment, Discover, Connect: Enhancing the Elementary Science Experience.” Director Brian Jones said the $15,000 will be used toward a kit of instructional materials to share with every fourth-grade classroom across the Poudre School District, helping students learn about electricity through hands-on investigations. The money will be used to extend and complement existing materials, including a number of experiments with a Little Shop twist. For instance, the kit will include paper and pencils that can be used to draw working electric circuits. Each kit will be shared in an interactive workshop for teachers who will be using the materials in class.

The grants are the second round of Pharos Fund grants awarded in 2015, bringing the total to more than $1 million for the year. The Pharos Fund has granted more than $15 million to area nonprofit agencies since 2001. A committee composed of Bohemian Foundation board members, staff and community members selects grantees through a competitive application process.

About the foundation

Bohemian Foundation, a private family foundation established in 2001, works to empower citizens and impact communities through responsive grant making programs and special initiatives. It has begun accepting applications for the next Pharos Fund round. Updated submission guidelines are available at BohemianFoundation.org.

Campus Connections is part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences, the Center for Public Deliberation is in the College of Liberal Arts, and the Little Shop of Physics is based in the College of Natural Sciences.