Human Resources and Nonprofits

Foundation awards $354K for summer youth employment programs

July 8, 2014
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Foundation awards $354K for summer youth employment programs
A group of students with The Other Way Ministries’ Youth Employment Service program work on a lawn. Courtesy Grand Rapids Community Foundation

A foundation is helping West Michigan's youth have a more productive summer.

The Grand Rapids Community Foundation said yesterday that it has awarded $354,600 in grants to 11 nonprofits to support their summer youth employment programs.

The money is expected to allow about 350 low-income youth to take part in programs for job training, soft-skill development and summer jobs.

The foundation said the programs give the youth the opportunity to work with mentors and grow their community involvement, professional experience and confidence, while earning a paycheck.

The grants were distributed with the support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek and were recommended by the foundation’s African American Heritage Fund Committee.

The grants range from $7,000-$58,000.

“These grants create a vibrant cycle of positive growth in Grand Rapids,” said Marcia Rapp, vice president of programs, Grand Rapids Community Foundation. “The values learned through this experience transfer into their classroom, career and back into our community.”

Grant recipients

Bethany Christian Services: $58,600

To provide high-risk youth in Grand Rapids with paid employment, exposure to professional settings, educational opportunities, a safe work environment and a chance to connect and enhance their surrounding neighborhoods

Comprenew: $22,391

An environmentally focused program for at risk inner-city youth that provides mentorship, direction and job-skills training to prepare students for the workforce

Grand Rapids Urban League: $31,986

To provide summer employment and education, work readiness and work experience for teenage youth ages 14-16

Hispanic Center of Western Michigan: $58,035

Provide vulnerable youth with meaningful work experiences and job-readiness training to prepare them for academic success and post-secondary education.

Jubilee Jobs: $29,136

To provide vulnerable, at-risk youth residing primarily in the DeVos “Believe to Become Zones” holistic services and activities that are high school age appropriate, promote academic and school attendance excellence and provide a pathway to viably compete with their peers for success in school, work and life.

New City Neighbors: $9,500

To employ high school and middle school students and provide them with job and life skills

Other Way Ministries: $10,616

To employ 13 local teens for the summer providing critical employment skill training and a variety of experiences to expand their imagination of work, empowering them for the future

Project COOL: $57,636

To assist in funding a summer internship program for youth in the Grand Rapids area

Steepletown Neighborhood Services: $52,886

To provide youth, ages 16-24, with work readiness and sector-specific training in the context of a paid summer work experience that will lead to acquiring a nationally recognized credential and ongoing employment opportunities

The Edge Urban Fellowship: $7,189

To provide staffing, training and participant stipends for its Student Worker Initiative

Wedgwood Christian Services: $16,625

To cultivate its diverse population of at-risk youth from Wedgwood Christian Services and Lighthouse Community Schools by providing hands-on training, fostering professional etiquette and developing confidence to seek and retain community employment

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