Elevating At-risk Youth and Communities: Recently Funded Initiatives
The Foundation Trust recently announced its inaugural grant and scholarship recipients. In total, $284,813 was awarded in 2019 to over 35 nonprofit organizations in select communities in Greater Boston. Grants were awarded in each of the Foundation Trust’s priority tracks:
- Overcoming trauma and adversity,
- Elevating high-risk youth and communities,
- Restoring dignity and quality of care for adults living with chronic conditions, and
- Advancing inclusivity in the arts.
The Foundation Trust is proud to support small and medium-sized organizations offering programming for at-risk and disadvantaged children, youth, and communities. Recipients in Track 2 are developing fun and effective programs to improve their communities and reach youth where they are to prevent violence and provide new opportunities for personal and academic development. In 2019, the Foundation Trust was excited to award $101,994 in grants and scholarships in this track.
- A gift to the Beachmont Improvement Committee in Revere will contribute to the “Stairways to Beachmont” project goal to improve public safety, promote healthier lifestyles, and improve neighborhood connectivity.
- A grant to the Bridge Center is offsetting costs of equine-assisted therapy for adults and transitional aged-youth living with disabilities in Brockton and Bridgewater.
- The Essex North Shore Agricultural & Technical School received a gift to support its Cultural Awareness Collective.
- A grant to the Family and Children’s Service of Greater Lynn, Inc. enabled expansion of Teen Scene, a violence prevention and academic enrichment program.
- A grant to Luminosity Behavioral Health Services in Brockton allowed them to pilot a new program using Capoeira to reduce trauma response and build coping skills in at-risk African American and other Brockton-area youth of color.
- A grant to the Malden Y’s Youth Community Centers in Medford is supporting youth development and leadership programming.
- A grant to the Medford Food Security Program of the Malden Y has sponsored the food pantry at Medford High School and the Medford Weekend Grocery Program.
- A grant to Medford Public Schools Center for Citizenship and Social Responsibility is supporting student-led initiatives to address LGBTQ awareness training this school year.
- A grant to the Melrose Human Rights Commission will support their established Pride event and provides seed money for a new community speaker series.
- The grant to the MGH Revere Youth Zone is enhancing after-school offerings through a new engineering program.
- A grant to Neighborhood Counseling and Community Services in Medford has allowed for the expansion of multilingual offerings and the development of a new therapy group for members for the LGBQ and TGNC communities.
- A grant to Revere CARES supported the Youth Health Leadership Council’s third Self-Care Fair in March 2020.
- A grant to the Revere Community School has allowed them to provide scholarships for ESOL courses, new equipment to hold free digital skills trainings for low-income families, and free U.S. citizenship classes.
- Grants to Revere High School helped launch a new restorative justice program, as well as supported the school’s Gender and Sexuality Alliance.
- The grant to Revere Police Activities League expanded last summer’s Revere Police Summer Youth Academy, an alternative activity for at-risk and low-income youth.
- Revere Youth in Action has used their grant to help expand their study center, as well as provide academic access workshops for students grade 6-12.
- An at-risk student at St. Mary of the Annunciation School received a Foundation Trust Parochial Scholarship to support their continued education.
- A grant to Saugus Action Volunteers for the Environment will contribute to the replacement of trees lining the town’s streets.
- The grant to Share Your Love supported a pilot SAT prep course for first-generation Americans.
- A gift to the Zen Center North Shore supports their youth programming.
Keeping Youth Engaged Outside of School
Giving children and teens safe spaces to develop outside of school is of paramount importance in many of the communities served by the 2019 Foundation Trust grants. Our recipients have identified the problems and are dedicated to finding solutions.
“This grant from the Foundation Trust could not have come at a better time,” said Marolí Licardié, Executive Director of the Lynn Family and Children’s Service. “In addition to giving us the capacity to offer field trips during the school year, the funds also enable us to transport youth safely back home. This is hugely significant since there have been some recent incidences of gun violence in our surrounding neighborhood which have prompted us to provide youth with transportation as they leave the program. One of the goals of Teen Scene is to ensure a safe place for youth to receive academic enrichment after school. Without the funds from Foundation Trust, this would not have been possible.”
Sandy Wright, Director of Revere Youth in Action echoed these sentiments, noting that “we thank the Foundation Trust for not only supporting our work at the youth-led 525 Study Center in the Shirley Avenue Neighborhood, but for also making youth development and organizing a funding priority in Revere. RYiA is excited to have a funding partner focused on strengthening our city and our young people.”
“This grant has been so timely,” noted Phoebe Soares, CEO of Luminosity Behavioral Health Services. “It has enabled Luminosity to implement PLAAY, Preventing Long Term Anger and Aggression in Youth. The Foundation Trust’s investment in non-traditional organizations like ours is crucial to mental health equity.”
Malden YMCA CEO, Debbie Amaral, stated that “funding from the Foundation Trust is helping us better serve the Medford community. We are able to reach the city’s most vulnerable youth and families and focus our work on ending hunger and developing positive role models.”
Academic Support for At-risk Youth and Communities
Equipping under-resourced populations with the tools they need to succeed is one of the hallmarks of many of this year’s recipients in this program area. The grant to the Revere Community School has allowed for the expansion of language and computer courses, as well as citizenship classes. Fatou Drammeh, Coordinator at the Revere Community School commented “We are grateful for the generous support from the Foundation Trust to provide immigrant families in need with opportunities for academic and personal development. This grant is helping us address the barriers and changing the lives of many immigrant communities in Revere. We are so grateful to the Foundation Trust for contributing to a much-needed expansion and increasing the impact of our programs.”
Debora Guimaraes, Founder and President of Share Your Love Foundation said “thanks to assistance from the Foundation Trust, our first-generation Americans and inner-city teenagers had the chance to learn from highly-qualified teachers and be more prepared for the SAT test and the college application process.” Ms. Guimaraes also shepherds the work of the Youth Health Leadership Council under the auspices of Revere CARES. The student-led group held its third annual self-care fair in March 2020 thanks to support from the Foundation Trust.
Unique Approaches to Supporting Disadvantaged Populations
Many programs that applied for funding under this track are working diligently to empower disadvantaged groups. From ENSATS’ work promoting cultural awareness and diversity, to the Bridge Center’s development of new opportunities for disabled individuals, to resources for LGBTQ+ individuals, this year’s grant recipients are making a positive impact in their communities.
The Foundation Trust is also excited to be involved in developing new programming with the Melrose Human Rights Commission. “As the Commission embraces a more proactive approach to human rights awareness, this grant from the Foundation Trust will enable us to better meet the needs of our increasingly diverse community in the coming year,” commented Human Rights Commission Chairwoman, Maya Jamaleddine. The Foundation Trust grant to the Melrose Human Rights Commission will support their established Pride event and provide seed money to launch a new speaker series for the community.
Foundation Trust-supported, student-led organizations such as the Revere High School Gender and Sexuality Alliance and the Medford Center for Citizenship and Social Responsibility are raising awareness and training new leaders in LGBTQ+ issues. Comments Kerri Langais-Emilian “there could be no more vital or important work than helping the more vulnerable come into their full potential. We thank Foundation Trust, deeply, for recognizing the importance of that work.”
For more information about the complete list of 2019 grant recipients and the work of the Foundation Trust, visit www.FoundationTrust.org or contact Lauren Liecau at firstname.lastname@example.org.