ITHACA, N.Y. (WENY) -- A grant program that supports Cornell University students looking to make a difference is expanding beyond the campus -- as two more New York universities will be able to provide their students with a chance to make a difference.

Students looking to improve and assist their communities are often at the mercy of finances, however the Contribution Project is providing students the chance to serve their communities in more ways than one.

It was five years ago that Anthony Burrow started the Contribution Project, a program that has helped fund over 100 community contributors who seek to impact their peers, communities, and the world around them.

"We're going to find ourselves living in the kinds of communities that we really like. So that we see young people aren't just passive recipients of the things that we want them to do, but they're actually forging new ideas and bringing us all together forward toward a broader idea of what positive community engagement looks like," said Burrow, who serves as the director for the Bronfenbrenner Center For Translational Research

The program has expanded beyond the campus of Cornell University. Now, students at Binghamton University and Stony Brook University will also have the chance to fund their own contributions. "We started the project in 2019. We're running it for a number of years. And this is the first year we've had the privilege of expanding it to other universities. So now we've connected with partners at SUNY Binghamton and SUNY Stony Brook as well. So it's been fun watching this project grow," added Burrow.

Groups that submit ideas bring a wide range of topics to the table. Some have sent their funds to local community centers like GIAC, money has gone to non-profits helping recovering mothers in Ithaca, and an effort to reverse-engineer toys to make them more adaptive has also benefited. "Groups will use the funds to re-engineer, redesign those toys so that all youth, despite their motor capacities, can still reap the benefits and enjoyment of playing with those toys, remarked Burrow on the toy project.

The Contribution Project remains steadfast in their mission to help foster community growth through the minds of the future of the nation. In recent years the Contribution Project has been assisted by California-based social innovation group, Hopelab, who shares the mission of promoting success in younger generations.