Since January, Impact100 members have read, discussed, analyzed and visited organizations that applied for funding in 2012. After deliberations in May, each Focus Area Committee selected one finalist organization -- a total of five organizations from a pool that began with more than 200 applicants. It was our privilege to learn about these many organizations and their remarkable work conducted throughout the region.
The Five Finalists for the 2012 Grants
Arts and Culture: The Village of Arts and Humanities, located in North Philadelphia, inspires people to be agents of positive change through free programming that encompasses arts and culture, engages youth, revitalizes community, preserves heritage and fosters respect for the environment. With the Impact100 grant, CRED Youth Arts Magazine will be written, edited, designed and produced by a team of 20-30 young adults that attend Village programs. This new magazine will feature 400-600 works submitted by artists and writers in the region under the age of 25. More than 800 youth will further be empowered through educational and mentorship opportunities that focus on developing appreciation and skills in the arts, journalism, entrepreneurship and policy-making. With 10,000 copies distributed three times a year, CRED Youth Arts Magazine is a high quality publication that lends legitimacy to contributors' works, teaches young artists about responsibly using their voices, and provides youth across the region with a publication that represents their world.
Education: After School Activities Partnerships (ASAP) provides safe, stimulating after school enrichment activities in chess, debate and Scrabble for students in the Philadelphia school district from kindergarten through 12th grade. It is estimated that at least 40,000 students living below the poverty level spend 15-20 hours a week unsupervised between 3-6 p.m. ASAP's programs are designed to keep children academically stimulated, challenged, respectful, safely off the streets, and part of a community. ASAP's student teams have competed statewide and have taken home numerous trophies. Some students have gone on to earn college scholarships. With the Impact100 grant, ASAP proposes to expand its Philadelphia Youth Chess Challenge and the Philadelphia Scholastic Debate League programs by 375 students through the following: creating 10 new chess teams to participate in the Philadelphia Scholastic Chess League; adding an additional Saturday chess tournament; and creating 15 new debate teams to participate in the Philadelphia Scholastic Debate League.
Environment: Urban Tree Connection
uses a community-based model to transform vacant lots from polluted and blighted sites into clean and safe neighborhood spaces. With the Impact100 grant, Urban Tree Connection proposes to empower 25 at risk youth, ages 14-18, in West Philadelphia's Haddington neighborhood, with environmental education and hands-on experience. The proposed Youth Environmental Leadership Program is a new project. The project will occur over a nine-month period (three seasons) and include training in the following areas: farm management and production, preparation of farm produce for sale, set up for markets and handling of cash flow. Additional training will teach collaborative behaviors, leadership skills and the development of entrepreneurial, personal and financial skills. Through this project, the teens will explore Urban Tree Connection's six different program areas: land control, land reclamation, gardening/ landscaping, farming, business development and community/leadership.
Family: The Women's Center of Montgomery County (WCMC) is dedicated to freedom from domestic violence and other forms of abuse. Each year, WCMC supports more than 4,000 domestic violence victims throughout Montgomery County with counseling, legal advocacy, information, and referral. With the Impact100 grant, the proposed project, Medical Advocacy for Child Victims/Witnesses to Domestic Violence, will identify and assist 100 children who are exposed to domestic violence and in many cases experience abuse and neglect themselves. Reflecting WCMC's similar program at Abington Hospital, this project will train 250 pediatric healthcare providers at Holy Redeemer Hospital to identify and refer victims to an on-site medical advocate for supportive intervention. By helping child victims of domestic violence, WCMC also hopes to help their abused mothers, who may be more likely to seek care for their children than for themselves. The project's ultimate goal is safety for mother and child and prevention of further violence, especially child abuse.
Health & Wellness: Norris Square Neighborhood Project (NSNP) is a community-based Latino organization in the West Kensington section of North Philadelphia which conducts arts, cultural, educational and garden programs geared toward youth and families. NSNP has been publicly recognized as one of the highest quality youth programs in the city. With the Impact100 grant, NSNP proposes to expand its Urban Garden Program to address the "food desert" in its local community and to provide healthy, affordable, culturally appropriate local food. More than 4,000 people will benefit from the expansion that will include a tripling of its garden plots (to 75 in total), as well as enhanced programs and events for families about gardening, nutrition and cooking. The Garden Program expansion seeks to address key areas of need that have been identified in a strategic plan, including the lack of access to healthy fresh foods; the need for strong community involvement to transform a neighborhood successfully; and the need to develop earned income streams to sustain community improvements in the long term.
Click here to see Impact's press release from today.
Please see the box below for a timeline leading up to the Annual Meeting.