Youth education, leadership, and employment programs in Park Slope, Gowanus, and in Brooklyn at large, are getting some much-needed support thanks to $2 million in grants from Brooklyn Community Foundation (BCF).
Specifically, BCF has designated:
• $40,000 for Center for Anti-Violence Education‘s for comprehensive anti-violence, empowerment, and leadership programming for young people.
• $25,000 for Brooklyn Workforce Innovations for Youth Pathway Out of Poverty, which will provide Central Brooklyn youth with access to employer-demanded skills.
• $30,000 for Groundswell Community Mural Project for the organization’s unique mission to bring together youth, artists, and community partners’ through a collective impact model that uses public art as a tool for social change.
• $20,000 to FUREE/Fifth Avenue Committee for for the overhaul and relaunch of FUREE-ous Youth!, a leadership and advocacy program for youth living in NYCHA Developments in Gowanus.
CASES‘ Brooklyn Youth Justice Programs in Downtown Brooklyn, Bed-Stuy, and Coney Island also received $35,000 to support prevention efforts to keep youth away from the criminal justice system, via education, employment, behavioral health treatment, community service, and access to local resources.
Other nearby projects funded include the $25,000 for the Brooklyn Botanic Garden‘s Garden Apprentice Program and $30,000 for Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy, which focuses on helping “Central Brooklyn youth deepen their cultural identity, build assets, save money for college, develop artistic, personal and leadership skills, and advocate for solutions to pressing social justice issues.”
Almost half a million Brooklyn residents are between the ages of 16 and 24—more than 35% of whom live below the federal poverty line. Over 40% of Brooklynites are foreign-born and half of all households’ speak a language other than English. In some neighborhoods, nearly 40% of youth are not in school and not working. Citywide, one in four incarcerated youth come from just six Brooklyn neighborhoods.
“We believe that by investing heavily in Brooklyn’s youth we are investing in a better future for Brooklyn—one that is vastly more equitable and offers more opportunity for all,” said BCF President/CEO Cecilia Clarke. “Right now, half a million young people are utterly disconnected from Brooklyn’s growing prosperity and influence. But we can change that by elevating our most vulnerable youth and helping them realize their own potential to lead our borough forward.”