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UM News
December 12, 2013

MISSOULA – A University of Montana class, Can Giving Change the World?, granted $10,000 to local nonprofits on Thursday, Dec. 12, at the Davidson Honors College.

The class, part of UM’s Global Leadership Initiative, focused on awarding grants to nonprofits that operate within Missoula County and combat youth hunger or youth depression. Organizations submitted grant proposals to the class earlier this semester.

This semester’s winners are:

  • Mountain Home Montana: $2,000 to support the young mothers’ support group.
  • Garden City Harvest: $3,000 to support the Youth Harvest Project.
  • Watson Children’s Shelter: $2,000 for children’s fruits and vegetables nourishment.
  • The Girls Way: $3,000 for Thursday Funshops: Developing Strong, Smart, Real Girls.

The philanthropy class at UM teaches students about social responsibility and community building to address and resolve social issues. Students study the role of philanthropy and giving strategies to meet local needs. Andrea Vernon, director of the Office for Civic Engagement, and communication studies Associate Professor Gregory Larson secure the grant monies for the class from the Learning by Giving Foundation. (For a animated video about the Learning by Giving Foundation, click here.)

“It has been my privilege to be part of this course for several semesters now and I can attest that this funding makes for a wonderful educational experience for our students, as well as provides a nice benefit for the Missoula community,” Larson said.

The Global Leadership Initiative is a four-year program open to students in all majors. Students engage in innovative seminars, pursue experiential learning opportunities, interact one-on-one with inspiring leaders and learn how to be a leader for the global century.

For more information call Vernon at 406-243-5159 or email





Contact: Andrea Vernon, director, UM Office for Civic Engagement, 406-243-5159,