CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Public policy students at the University of Virginia are lending a helping hand to nonprofits in the area. That’s allowing those organizations to bank more money.

At a luncheon on grounds Wednesday, students from UVA's Frank Batten School of Public Policy awarded just under $50,000 in grants to four organizations in the community. It is all part of the students' capstone project.

The money will benefit The Haven, Albemarle Housing Improvement Program (AHIP), Trauma-Informed Care Network, and Region Ten.

Student groups were assigned a population or topic to dig into at the national, state, and local levels. They looked at the problem, analyzed it, and then based on their research, chose an organization in the community to fund.

“The really incredible part, for me, is we all got so engaged with this because we were working with real money and our decisions and what we were learning will have real impact on people's lives which is a really incredible experience,” said Jeremy Jones, fourth year public policy student.

The students' research involved conducting interviews, reading literature, and engaging with policy experts.

Representatives from each organization were at the Wednesday’s awards luncheon to thank the students and give remarks.

The money comes from the Once Upon a Time Foundation, which has given the Batten School almost half a million dollars over the years to help organizations in the community.