Youth Council

United Way Youth Community Investment Process

The Catawba County United Way Youth Council was formed in 2003 under the direction of Stephen Shuford, a United Way Board member and business leader in our community, and began the annual United Way Community Investment Process. Shuford led this effort with the belief that youth who become involved in their community as a teen, continue to be active as they become adults.

In 2014, the Catawba County United Way Youth Council merged with the Catawba County Youth Council led by Donna Mull with Catawba County Cooperative Extension. The group is made up of 32 high school students with at least one representative from each high school in the county. Membership applications are available through the guidance departments at the local high schools or by contacting Donna Mull at 828-465-8240 or email

Youth Council Grant Applications

The Youth Council accepts Requests for 2023-24 Funding Proposals (RFPs) targeted on the Impact Areas of Health and/or Education as they relate to the needs and wellbeing of children and youth (ages 0-18) in our community.

Applications are due March 3. Apply at THIS LINK  (applications currently unavailable)

RFPs will be considered by the Catawba County Youth Council from organizations who are either incorporated as a not-for-profit, tax-exempt entity or who have a 501-C3 legal status, within Catawba County. They must comply with applicable legal, federal, state and local operating and reporting requirements (e.g. government approved accounting practices, annual audit, 990, nondiscrimination). Agencies will need to provide proof of their non-profit status.

Questions? Contact John Bailey at or call 828-327-6851.

2022-23 Grant Funding

The Catawba County Youth Council met in person on April 11, 2022 to vote on how much to fund the programs of five local agencies through the annual Catawba County United Way Youth Community Investment process for 2022-23.

They received and reviewed 15 local agency applications and decided to host presentations from their top six.

The Youth Council focused on supporting those programs that benefited Catawba County students from all three public school systems, grade pre-K to high school in the targeted impact areas of Health and Education.

The group decided to distribute their annual $10,000 in funding to the following Agencies and Programs:


The Corner Table – Backpack Program


Funds will be used to purchase food supplies to fill Backpack Program food bags that are sent home with students at the end of each week. 


Catawba Co. Sheriff’s office – Cadet back-to-school program

Funds support the Cadet Program's back-to-school event in August, purchasing additional school supplies for families who attend. 



Fostering Hope Catawba – All Aboard Catawba car seats


Funds will go towards the purchase of special convertible toddler car seats for families in need. The agency focuses on helping underprivileged and underrepresented families in the county.


Catawba Co. Cooperative Extension – Juntos 4-H


The program provides a 6-week workshop series focused on support and resources to promote high school graduation and attainment of higher education for Hispanic students.                                              


Children’s Advocacy Protection Center – Chance Facility Dog


Funds will help offset the cost of maintain the facility dog, Chance, who supports the process of interviewing a child victim and documenting any evidence of child abuse. 



How it works

The Youth Council focuses on giving a voice to the young people of Catawba County in matters of government and increase involvement in volunteerism and giving back to the community. They are also the lead group for the United Way Youth Community Investment process where dollars are allocated to agency programs that specifically benefit children and teens locally.

The Youth Council meets monthly during the school year. Meetings often include presentations on topics of interest to this age group as well as informative sessions featuring county government and non-profit representatives.

Applications from non-profits for the United Way Youth Community Investment process are typically accepted in early March. More information is available by contacting Catawba County United Way by phone at 828-327-6851.

VIDEO - 2019 Youth Council Community Investment Process

Catawba County Youth Council