Three New-York City Nonprofits Awarded Youth Service Improvement Grants

The William T. Grant Foundation is pleased to announce that it has awarded three community-based organizations in New York City $25,000 grants to improve the quality of their youth programs.

These are the final awards made through the most recent iteration of the Foundation’s Youth Service Improvement Grants program, which for over a decade has helped local organizations strengthen existing programs by addressing issues or problems at the point of service, where staff and youth interact. In January 2019, the Foundation will launch redesign of the Youth Service Improvement Grants program that aligns more closely with our broader focus on reducing inequality in youth outcomes. We encourage you to sign up for our mailing list and check back with us for updates on the redesigned program, including details on preparing an application for funding.

Rockaway Waterfront Alliance
This grant will support the creation of a college access curriculum and program.

Rockaway Waterfront Alliance wants to improve its core programming, which offers paid internships, environmental research opportunities and civic programs to high-school students from the Rockaways and Southeast Queens. These training, educational, and community programs are meant to help youth build potential careers and facilitate their interest in college. Although program participants are interested in attending college, Rockaway Waterfront Alliance does not have a college access program to help its students prepare for and apply to college. The organization proposes to partner with College Access: Research and Action (CARA) to design a college access curriculum and train RWA’s staff and volunteers to run the program.

New York City Urban Debate League
This grant will support the standardization of training to New York City Urban Debate League’s volunteer judges.

New York City Urban Debate League wants to improve its Saturday Debate Tournament program. New York City students from underserved areas receive daily in-school debate practices and weekly workshops, which culminate with them competing in monthly Saturday debate tournaments. Tournament judges are volunteers who have limited debate or judging experience and receive little training by the Urban Debate League. The lack of volunteer skills and training leads to inconsistent judging, which impacts the quality of the tournament and participants’ experiences. Urban Debate League proposes to develop and implement a standardized judge training program, which will include weeknight volunteer orientation and training sessions, along with guides and online certification training workshops.

Esperanza NY
This grant will support staff training to help improve outcomes for youth who have experienced trauma.

Esperanza NY wants to improve its personalized, therapeutic counseling and case/crisis management services to court-involved youth ages 11-18. Most participants meet the diagnostic criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder and have experienced multiple incidents of trauma. Esperanza’s counselors struggle to address their participants’ behavior and do not fully address their young people’s underlying trauma. Esperanza proposes to have its field counselors, supervisors, and clinical director train in dyadic developmental psychotherapy (DDP), which is geared to youth who have experienced trauma and have associated attachment difficulties. Staff will be trained to help youth regulate their emotions and behavior and form positive attachments with their families and caregivers.