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Nonprofit Stories

At the heart of grants we make and gifts we receive is the desire to see maximum positive benefit of every dollar.  We are fortunate to live in a region that has a strong and vibrant nonprofit community.  In the spirit of recognizing the vital work of that community, we share some of their stories.

The 2009 City of Asheville Youth Leadership Academy graduates display their diplomas.

CAYLA Program Benefits Students and our Community

Satorria Jones and Anice Smith at a Riverlink clean-up.

The world opened up to Anice Smith through her participation in the City of Asheville Youth Leadership Academy (CAYLA).  The CAYLA program provides tutoring and career exploration and is a partnership between the city and the Asheville City Schools Foundation.  Since CAYLA began in 2007, 48 college-bound high school students have participated in the year-long program.  CAYLA is open to Asheville High pupils who will be first generation college students in their family.  Approximately 20 slots are available each year.  Students are chosen based on academic achievement, extracurricular involvement, leadership potential and teacher recommendations.  Each CAYLA student receives a $2,000 scholarship allocated by the Asheville City Council.

A weeklong orientation includes workshops and team-building activities, followed by a seven-week paid internship for each participant mostly at city and county offices and agencies.  CAYLA students have proven valuable in the workplace and there are now more placements than students inthe program.  Through her CAYLA experience, Smith - and other students - made important connections, learned the value of giving back to the community and gained confidence in workplace skills.