River Counties Youth Fund

Leland T. James has a bold vision for the children of Lancaster and Northumberland Counties. He foresees a bright future where every child grows up with an opportunity to be successful and make a comfortable living. Not one to just dream, in 2008 Leland established the River Counties Youth Fund to improve morality, good citizenship, strength of character, and family values as well as to enhance work ethic, entrepreneurship and educational achievement for those under the age of 19.

“I feel it’s the perfect vehicle for addressing issues faced by today’s young people,” said Leland – and he is right. The fund has awarded over $30,000 in grants to local organizations working toward this mission. Grantees have included the Boys & Girls Club of the Northern Neck, Dream Fields, and most recently Northumberland County Public Schools (NCPS).

In 2014, NCPS and the Northumberland Association for Progressive Stewardship (NAPS) partnered on a grant to purchase STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) starter-kits for students in grades K-4 for summer enrichment programming. Building on this success, in 2015 a second grant expanded the program to the middle school. Students in grades 6-8 work to build curiosity, interest, and “imagineering” skills in the areas of STEM in an after-school program with mentoring by NAPS volunteers. Through the River Counties Youth Fund, students are given educational opportunities needed to be successful.

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