Grants announced for Metro Detroit youth projects

Jennifer Chambers
The Detroit News

The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan has announced the distribution of $150,000 in grants to fund 18 youth-oriented projects across southeast Michigan.

The grant awards were based on input from the Metropolitan Youth Policy Fellows, which surveyed more than 1,100 young people to share their ideas on issues facing their communities and the region.

Survey results led to six recommendations, including strengthening opportunities to promote youth voice and youth decision making in communities, creating youth-driven programs to promote health and safety in communities — including community gardens and accessible parks and playgrounds — and funding and promoting programs that bring different racial and ethnic groups together.

As a result of the survey, the foundation issued a request for proposals from youth-serving organizations at a Youth Summit in September. Support for the project came from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

"We are impressed by all of the projects proposed in response to the largest youth-driven survey of young people in our region," said Mariam Noland, president of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. "We are committed to support the leadership skills of youth as they work to improve their communities and make a difference."

The grantees include:

■Affirmations Lesbian and Gay Community Center Inc. in Ferndale: $10,000 in support of an LGBT youth group that promotes healthy decision-making skills in the community and strengthens youth voice in the organization.

■Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services in Dearborn: $10,000 for support of the Dearborn Youth Empowerment Initiative to promote race and ethnicity dialogue.

■Boys and Girls Clubs of Oakland and Macomb Counties: $5,600, to support a teen leadership summit and community service action plan for youth from four Boys & Girls Clubs.

■Community Social Services for Wayne County: $10,000, for “Potluck Discussions” to build life skills for homeless teen mothers and their children.

■Dearborn Public Schools: $8,500, to support a social justice course for juniors and seniors at Edsel Ford High School

■East Michigan Environment Action Council in Detroit: $5,000, for workshops to raise awareness of environmental and climate justice issues for youth in Detroit.

■Farmington Public Schools: $6,300, to support Farmington Central High School students to build communication skills to address diversity issues.

■Farmington Public Schools: $10,000 for diversity-focused activities in Farmington High School, Harrison High School and North Farmington High School.

■Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion: $5,000 to support the expansion of its annual youth leadership and justice exhibition to include more skill building workshops.

■River Raisin National Battlefield Park Foundation in Monroe County: $5,000 to support incorporating Wyandotte Nation’s history into youth-led outdoor kayak program.

■SER Metro-Detroit Jobs for Progress Inc. in Detroit: $10,000, to support a one-day conference to build relationships between youth and adults across metro Detroit.

■Southwest Detroit Business Association: $9,700, to support for the Congress of Communities Youth Council to build youth voice in Detroit’s education system.

■Student Conservation Association Inc.: $10,000 for the establishment of a Youth Alumni Council to help launch a year-round leadership program.

■Student Leadership Services Inc. in Waterford Township: $10,000, to support a project to promote justice and acceptance among students.

■The James and Grace Lee Boggs School in Detroit: $10,000, to support an inter-generational mentoring program.

■University Prep Math & Science High School in Detroit: $10,000, to support a student exchange program with other schools in region to build cultural awareness, and to host a Cultural Festival.