“The Final Four” — Though that phrase usually refers to the basketball tournament that ended this week with the University of Connecticut’s double crowning as NCAA champs, another exciting competition is just beginning to heat up.

The students in my Nonprofit Giving course at Framingham State University have narrowed their pool of grant applicants to four promising organizations in the greater Boston area. These four are under consideration for up to $10,000 in funding, thanks to generous support from the Learning by Giving Foundation. (See prior post about how the class is addressing the growing opportunity gap in the U.S.)

The four nonprofits are:

1. School on Wheels of Massachusetts — educates children impacted by homelessness by providing academic support and one-on-one mentoring so children can reach their full potential.
2. Roxbury Youthworks — helps youth caught in cycles of poverty, victimization, and violence to transition successfully into adulthood.
3. Dorchester Youth Collaborative — engagess high-risk youth in relationships and projects that promote their psycho-social development, as well as the health and safety of the community.
4. United Teen Equality Center — nurtures the ambition of disconnected youth, encouraging them to trade violence and poverty for social and economic success.

Yesterday, the class visited School on Wheels. The other site visits will take place over the next couple of weeks. Then comes the BIG DECISION – where to give the $10,000.

Stay tuned for details!