2015 Grant Recipients
On Monday, June 15, Womenade Boston members met to select grant recipients for 2015. Members heard presentations from 8 exciting finalist organizations and then cast their votes to select the winners. This year's $86,000 in grants brings the five-year total investment Womenade Boston has made in Boston-area non-profits serving teen girls and women to nearly $386,000.
Organizations/Programs that Empower Teen Girls Age 12-21
Investment: High-Risk Young Mothers Program
Roca’s High-Risk Young Mothers Program serves a group of extremely high-risk, unserved young mothers, ages 16-24, with significant behavioral and life challenges who cannot succeed in traditional parenting programs. Roca’s High-Risk Young Mothers Program is specifically designed for those young mothers who not only need parenting support, but who are neither ready nor willing to change. Through its Intervention Model, Roca is able to engage them in long-term behavior changing programming through outreach, persistent contact and trust/relationship building, providing intensive case management services that help them build the skills necessary to achieve independence and self-sufficiency.
Victim Rights Law Center
Investment: Girls' Rape Survivors Law Project
VRLC’s Girls’ Rape Survivors Law Project provides civil legal representation to rape and assault victims ages 12-21 in the Greater Boston area. Sexual violence disproportionately impacts youth and for many of these victims, prompt civil legal representation can help accomplish what the criminal justice system cannot. The VRLC is committed to providing young rape victims with access to a civil lawyer so that they may safely stay in school, protect their medical and mental health, prevent their education records from being obtained by perpetrators and secure protection orders.
Organizations/Programs that Empower Women Age 22 and Older
Investment: Community Fitness
Healhworks Community Fitness addresses social and racial inequities by providing a continuum of care to women who are at highest risk for chronic diseases. Woman, Be Fit is their innovative 8-week progressive program that is focused on empowering women through physical activity and nutrition intervention that aims to prevent and manage chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, obesity, hypertension and heart disease. At the conclusion of the program, participants are offered monthly memberships at significantly reduced rates.
The Second Step
The Second Step’s IMAGINE (Inspiration, Motivation, and Growth in Networks that Empower) program is built on the understanding that sustained healing requires a resilient and supportive social network. It encompasses multiple long-term programs, and survivors may take part in one or all, for as long as they need or wish to.
2015 Runners Up
Actors Shakespeare Project
Investment: Shakespeare Inside and Out
Actors Shakespeare Project's Shakespeare Inside and Out is a comprehensive set of out-of-school time youth programs that include a deep partnership with the Department of Youth Services (DYS) as well as youth from the Boston Public Schools and those in private treatment centers. ASP currently has annual residencies in three DYS girls’ treatment facilities. Shakespeare In and Out integrates an exceptional arts learning experience with deep educational and support services for these youth in crisis. Its staff meet girls inside treatment facilities, build relationships with them, and recruit them to enroll in their after-school programs and youth internships as they are released from lock-up.
Investment: Teen Voices Rising
Write Boston Teen Voices Rising is an empowerment program serving teen girls attending the Boston Public Schools, with a particular focus on at-risk urban girls who would especially benefit from the opportunity to develop and share their voices. It seeks to give girls a platform to be heard, providing them with mentorship, skill building in verbal and written communication, and a supportive forum to explore the issues that are important to them. It focuses on exploring girls’ issues and developing teens’ writing skills, creative self-expression, research, and analytical skills by writing news stories, literary works, and other media content for publication.
Center for Women & Enterprise
Investment: The Community Classrooms
Center for Women & Enterprise's The Community Classrooms program was piloted in the Fall of 2012 in Dorchester and was expanded to Mattapan and Roxbury in 2013 and 2014. The primary aim of the Community Classrooms initiative is to fortify underserved communities, and build a more stable economic environment by eliminating the barriers, such as low levels of financial literacy and lack of access to training and resources, that hold women back from starting or growing their own businesses.
Elizabeth Stone House
Investment: New Position: Spanish-speaking in-home case manager
Elizabeth Stone House will be creating a new position, a Spanish-speaking in-home case manager, who would specifically serve Spanish-speaking women affected by domestic violence and concurrent challenges living in Roxbury and surrounding neighborhoods, who cannot be accommodated in the area’s severely limited shelter and transitional housing beds. The manager of ESH’s shelter is a native Spanish speaker and serves as a case manager for all Spanish-speaking residents in both the shelter and transitional housing program. When they leave the shelter, ESH does not have the capacity to provide the follow-up in-home case management that can significantly strengthen a client’s likelihood of remaining housed, stable and safe.