Thomas J. Gray Foundation
Marjorie S.
Developing today's youth into tomorrow's leaders.

Legacy Projects

These Projects:
  1. started as unsolicited applications for funding;
  2. demonstrated organizational and program success for at least two consecutive years;
  3. created sustainable improvement in the lives of the youth they serve;
  4. developed of strong youth leaders of character;
  5. demonstrated the ability to continue the work of developing leaders by having those youth they served continue the work as adults;
  6. were invited to participate in this program; and
  7. are renewable with priority for funding over all other grant requests.

This the the Legacy of the Foundation, and the Legacy of our Grantors.  These projects, these organizations, and the effort they represent are the future beyond the Foundation.

Boy Scouts of America - Lake Erie Council - SPL/CIT Program

The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law. The purpose of the Boy Scouts of America, founded in 1910 and chartered by Congress in 1916, is to provide an outdoor-based leadership and educational program for youth ages 6-21 years to build character, to train in the responsibilities of participating citizenship and to develop personal fitness. Elements of the Scouting program include camping and adventure, youth leadership training, caring and nurturing relationships with adults and peers, and positive, educational and creative uses of time in a fun-filled and adventurous setting. Boy Scouts of America is the only youth organization chartered by Congress as an educational program.

Boy Scout summer camp is an integral part of a Scouts’ experience. They learn leadership skills, learn about the outdoors, grow personally and have fun. It is an opportunity to earn merit badges and to participate in activities not available during a typical weekend campout. Summer camp also provides the environment to gain confidence by trying something scary and overcoming that fear. It is where life long memories are created while sharing a week with troop mates.

In 2013, the counselor-in-training and senior patrol leader (CIT & SPL) programs were created. The goals of these programs are to:

  1. identify and create a funnel of future staff members who embrace the ideas and value of a summer camp;
  2. provide opportunities to use and perfect leadership skills and methods;
  3. increase the capacity of camp staff with "home grown" talent, enabling more Boy Scouts to attend summer camp; and
  4. increase the quality of camp staff, thereby increasing the number of Boy Scouts who want to attend summer camp.

The CIT program also allows a Scout to pay his way to camp.

The Foundation's investment in this program started in 2015 and to-date has totaled $89,350, directly supporting 592 youth and leveraging an additional $59,550 (total program investment of $148,900, factor of 1.67). The Foundation's investment in this program continues.


ProAct Indy - Kids in Action

ProAct's mission is to engage youth in public service that educates, delights, and inspires youth and those they serve. Rather than engaging the typical youth in the typical way, ProAct takes traditional service learning models and turns them upside down. A key tenet to ProAct’s mission is that, while they do “serve” at-risk youth, the youth are not the beneficiaries of their service. Rather, the youth become the givers and creators of service in their schools and neighborhoods and seek to serve with their community rather than to or for their community by focusing on relationships.

The youth recruited to participate do not come from the quintessential population of kids targeted by traditional service learning organizations. Nearly all service learning organizations target those youth who consistently earn above-average grades and who stand out as “natural leaders.” ProAct targets youth on the opposite end of the spectrum, including economically disadvantaged youth, those who consistently earn below-average grades, and those who do not step up to take leadership roles. By recruiting a mix of students who earn straight-A’s and lack social skills to learn and serve alongside students with straight-D’s who may be very popular among peers, ProAct is able to create an effective, diverse, and dynamic learning environment. Because these groups are so diverse, the programs address racism, violence, tolerance, and conflict resolution simply by engaging these young people with peers who are different from themselves.

By engaging diverse groups of youth with adults in the community from local corporations and community organizations, ProAct give the kids experiences they would otherwise not have access to while simultaneously helping the community at large see the youth as positive assets to the community rather than a nuisance to the community. That in and of itself promotes anti-racism, anti-violence, and conflict resolution among the neighbors served. It is also important to note that most of the youth recruited by ProAct reside in the urban areas of Indianapolis and they will target these youth in cities in which we expand to where low-income households are the most prevalent.

The goals of the programs include:

  1. an increase in social or community awareness of differences between people;
  2. recognizing the value of serving the community at large;
  3. an increase in positive social interactions between students through mentoring and relationship building;
  4. gaining more self-confidence and better self-image; and
  5. learning techniques to be more empathetic and tolerant of others.

The Foundation's investment in this program started in 2017 and to-date has totaled $160,000, directly supporting 1070 youth and leveraging an additional $717,384 (total program investment of $877,384, factor of 5.48). The Foundation's investment in this program continues.


Total Legacy Project Investment

To-date the Foundation has invested in 2 Legacy Projects has totaled $249,350, directly supporting 1662 youth and leveraging an additional $776,934 (total program investment of $1,026,284, factor of 4.12).

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