On May 31, 2016, Crescent Valley High School senior Seniu Maitland took his own life. There have been several other teen suicides or attempted suicides in Benton County since Seniu's death.
According to the CDC, suicide is the second-leading cause of death for youth ages 10–24 in the US. In Oregon, suicide has been increasing since 2000, outpacing the national average in 2012 by 42 percent.
Four Oregon State University students — Beatrice Gnetti, Ranya Guennoun, Zbigniew Sikora and Berkley Noble — felt compelled to confront the problem of teen suicide head-on. The student-donors, who are 18–19 years old, established a fund with Benton Community Foundation to spread awareness among educators; dismantle the taboo of talking about teen suicide; and, improve access to care.
For more than sixty years, donors have partnered with BCF to address the causes of most concern to them. But, times change. With that change come shifting priorities and emerging issues.
We are asking you to give to our Leadership Fund so that we have the resources to meet emerging needs -- like prevention of teenage suicide. The Leadership Fund will allow us to build our capacity to act as catalyst for positive change; tailor best practices to our neighborhoods; and, provide seed monies for public-private partnerships to quickly respond to pressing issues in our community. We made progress toward this fundraising goal on Giving Tuesday, but we still need to raise $15,000 by the end of the year to meet our goal!
Please partner with us to build leadership in Benton County!
In 2017, the Benton Community Foundation distributed more than $780,000 in our local communities. This includes 65 scholarships for local students, such as the $15,000 Lillian and Paul Petri Music Study Scholarship. BCF also awarded grants to 67 area nonprofits and organizations, supporting basic needs, capacity building, arts and culture, science and technology, adult care, and more.
We're proud to share with you how philanthropy is making an impact for local kids and families across Benton County!
In 1953, members of the Corvallis Rotary Club created a Foundation to advance the common good in our community - looking after the most vulnerable among us and providing opportunities for young people.
Today, their original investment of $1,000 has grown to more than $21 million. With the help of BCF, hundreds of donors have contributed to support local charities, provide scholarships, and build permanent community resources.
We're excited to celebrate 65 years of investing in our community, while looking ahead to the next 65 years!