PO Box 104 Lowville, NY 13367 prattnortham@gmail.com 570-396-4532

Youth Programs


The Workership Program provides 350 hours of summer employment at minimum wage for students accepted and enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate academic program at a two-year or four-year college for the following Fall semester.

When the Workership Program was proposed in 1981 by Donald Exford, Coordinator of the Lewis County Youth Board, the program was designed to meet two goals: 1. Serve the needs of more college students than the previous scholarship program, and 2. Provide job experience related to the college student’s area of study in preparation for career employment. Workership positions were not intended to replace permanent or part-time positions already filled. But instead, Workership positions were to be new positions completing work that traditionally would not get done.

Not-for-profit and government programs delivering services in the area between Boonville and Carthage are urged to apply to sponsor a Workership position(s). Worksite applicants are reminded that Workership sites are selected based upon the following criteria:

1. Workership position provides programming directly to youth.
2. Workership position indirectly supports programming for youth.
3. Workership position provides a quality work experience helping a college student build skills and credentials towards a career path.
4. Workership position relates to the student’s field of study. The student receives internship or academic credit for the summer work.


Careers Here Program

The Careers Here Program was created to give private sector businesses the opportunity to provide a paid internship to local college students and BOCES students in their area of study. The Pratt Northam Foundation is partnering with Lewis County to provide this opportunity. Local businesses are encouraged to contact our Careers Here Coordinator Lisa Hetzner at Lisa.Hetzner@dfa.state.ny.us to get their businesses added to the list of available sites for student opportunities.

This program is a student driven program. It is the students responsibility to contact and then work with Lisa to create their internship.

Children who participated in the Summer Reading Program at Erwin Library in Boonville rocket off to new adventures.


Snack time is part of the fun of the Summer Reading Program at Erwin Library

Bobbi Sue Schmitt, an Early Childhood major at SUNY Cobleskill

Bobbi Sue Schmitt, an Early Childhood major at SUNY Cobleskill, serving as the lead teacher for the Hand In Hand school age childcare program in Lowville.

Patti-Ann Strait,a Psychology major at Clarkson University

Patti-Ann Strait,a Psychology major at Clarkson University, and Hannah Nortz, a Nursing student at SUNY IT, surrounding the Camp Director at Camp Unirondack in Number 4, NY. Patti-Ann serves the camp as a crew member and Hannah works as the camp’s driver.

Youth Advisory Councils

The purpose for a Pratt Northam sponsored Youth Advisory Council (YAC) is to allow a committee (board ) of students from grades 9, 10, 11, and 12 to make decisions for funding creative ideas proposed by their board and peers.

The first council was established at Lowville Academy and Central School in the 2000 – 2001 school year. The success of that council provided both inspiration and model for others that followed. Carthage Central School started its YAC in 2001 – 2002. Beaver River Central, South Lewis Central, Copenhagen Central, Harrisville Central and Adirondack Central have followed in subsequent years.

The Foundation’s goals when establishing a YAC are:

To encourage creative thinking:

  • To fund projects proposed by young people that benefit their community
  • To establish a practice of philanthropy while promoting volunteerism and service

The Foundation hosts a YAC conference each school year for the purpose of gathering the individual YAC Councils together to benefit from sharing their philanthropic activities with each other.

Team building exercises for YAC students










Area YAC  Councils gather at their  2018 YAC fall conference for a day of team building.







YAC students gather to bowl a few games at Lewis Lanes before they engage in a panel discussion on ways to make changes in their community at their 2019 YAC Conference

The Foundation provides the following guidelines to help each YAC do its work in its community. The emphasis of each YAC must be on youth-run or youth-need driven projects.

  1. 1. To be eligible for grant consideration, it is preferred that an applicant be between the ages of 12 and 18 and residing in a public school district within the Pratt Northam service area. A school district must agree to act as fiscal agent for a grant recipient.
  2. 2. Applicants must plan, implement, and evaluate their own projects. The YAC must follow-up to insure that a project was completed.
  3. 3. Projects are encouraged when a small amount of money leverages the greatest possible level of activity. This may be accomplished through the use of volunteers or by attracting additional funding from other sources. The YAC must prefer not to be the sole funding source for a project. A group’s desire to seek other funding sources is given strong consideration.
  4. 4. Priority will be given to programs or projects that address the needs of the greatest number of youth.
  5. 5. Priority will be given to new rather than previously funded projects.
  6. 6. Applications for projects or programs traditionally funded through the regular school budget are discouraged.
  7. 7. The highest priority will be given to programs or projects that benefit youth throughout the entire community. “Community” is to be defined by each individual YAC given each individual application. Each YAC is encouraged to maintain “Needs Profile” for its defined community.
  8. 8. Grants may be awarded in any dollar amount up to the amount of Pratt Northam’s jpgt to the school. The YAC’s responsibility is to budget its monies to insure its best use in the community. A YAC may request a presentation by an applicant or a site visit before awarding a grant.