The WellMet Gazette
Volume Five, April 2019
Welcome to the fifth WellMet Gazette Newsletter!

The Spring 2019 edition of the WellMet Gazette is featuring…………….. US!

WellMet began in 1999, 15 members strong, partnering from day one with the wonderful New York Community Trust. Today, we’re 30 members and have given out some $3 million in grants to almost 200 New York City organizations.

SO! It’s our birthday and time to throw a big party, partly to celebrate those 20 years but much more importantly, to thank and celebrate our grantees whose magnificent work and determination changes our city for the better every single day. BRAVO/BRAVA to you all!

All WM grantees are enthusiastically invited along with past and present WM members and special folks who have helped and guided us through the years. A salsa band, courtesy of UpBeat NYC, will greet you, then after a bit of chatting, noshing and networking we’ll present a 10 minute film about WM’s beginnings focusing on three of our grantees; there will then be a short speech by one of our special friends, Rev. Alfonso Wyatt, whom many of you know. We’ll have an enormous birthday cake AND AND AND…the tah TAHHH moment: a raffle drawing for grantees. WellMet will award a total of $25,000 worth of grants. (caveat: you must be present at the drawing to qualify and be a member in good standing with NYCT). Those grants will make a very cool party bag for those lucky winners! Please RSVP and let us know if you’re coming.

The Event:

May 3, 2019, 6:00pm-8:30pm at Harlem Children’s Zone, 35 East 125th St (bring i.d.)

Thanks everyone. Come and party with us!

All best, Deborah McManus, Co-Founder 

($18,000 WellMet grant in 2010)
Founded in 1998, Get Ready is a college prep program and has helped thousands of low-income students in the Northwest, including NYC.   Click here to view a recent article that featured Get Ready.
($25,000 WellMet grant in 2018)
Custom Collaborative’s mission is to serve low-income women with training and ongoing supports that equip them for successful careers in women’s apparel and accessories—as designers, seamstresses, pattern makers, and fashion entrepreneurs. 
Back in December, fashion-activist nonprofit Remake, a community of fashion activists, published an interview with CC’s Executive Director Ngozi Okaro. Also in recent months, they’ve received generous grants from Eileen Fisher Foundation, West Harlem Development Corporation, and Project People Foundation. 
Lingerie-and-sleepwear innovator Hanky Panky donated a beautiful silk in a color called “Living Coral” that was subsequently named Pantone’s Color of the Year. Another fashion-design headliner, Mara Hoffman, donated the fabrics that our Winter 2018-2019 trainees used for their final projects. Mara Hoffman has also graciously offered to host their June graduation. Craft-workshop superstar CraftJam Soho Studio invited CC trainees to attend free of charge their hand-embroidery classes.
($20,000 WellMet grant in 2011)
Founded in 2008, FPA-Foundation is a human rights advocacy organization that builds the power and capacity of low-income people, especially low-income people of color, to have a significant impact in improving their communities and the policies and institutions that affect their lives. This is done through community organizing efforts by the people who are impacted by the system. FPA-Foundation strengthens, connects and mobilizes grassroots groups, youths and people in the community to enhance their leadership, voice, and power.
Since November 2018, FPA has been organizing Black & Brown Woman and Girls impacted by the child welfare system to become community organizers. FPA also created a book Your Right to Know that educates parents on how to navigate the child welfare system.  Click here to view a recent article featuring FPA.
($17,000 WellMet grant in 2010)

Helicon, Inc. was founded in 1999 to help females learn the mathematics and the ‘numbers-related’ disciplines that they need to achieve their academic and career goals.
In March, in classroom space provided by Brookdale University Hospital Medical Center, Helicon began its 14 week program, Algebra I Regents Examination Prep Course for African-American and Latina Girls.
This month, Phase I of SHSAT/TACHS Prep Course for African-American and Latina Girls will begin. This is the program’s third year. The program’s two interns (sophomores at Stuyvesant High School) were awarded the Youth Summit Community Project Award.
For more information, see this 2018 article published in Crains New York Business about the need for math-based high school equivalency preparation programs in New York City.
($18,000 WellMet grant in 2010)
From their Founder and E.D. Ana Reyes:
Our 14th Spring is here! For I Challenge Myself this means their students are preparing for the annual Century Ride. To show support for the LGBTQ community, this year, students will be participating in  Pride Ride  organized by Out Cycling and their youth bike club,  Fearless Flyers . Pride Ride starts and ends at Riverbank State Park (145th & West Side Highway) and has 30, 60, 80 and 100 mile route options heading North across the George Washington Bridge. Pride Ride ends with a festival that greets riders once they complete their Ride. Volunteers are needed to help with the festival. To volunteer, please click here .
In addition, to meet a Challenge alum c lick here view Guillermo's video and hear the impact I Challenge Myself had on his life . Sunday, February 17th, I sat down with Denver Frederick, host of the Business of Giving radio show to share how I Challenge Myself was started and our latest programs and impact.  Click here to listen to the podcast. 
($20,000 WellMet grant in 2008)

Queens-based Row provides daily competitive rowing instruction to girls, grades 7-12, linked to academic and SAT instruction. This winter, Row New York was recognized by Rowing News magazine, for their mission of empowering youth from under-resourced communities to excel on the water, in the classroom, and beyond. Their return to the water in March caps off an eventful winter during which their middle schoolers and high schoolers balanced school, practice, swim tests, SAT prep, college visits, and professional development events. Student-athletes also joined Row New York’s adaptive and veterans teams in building their strength and stamina and breaking countless personal records at races across the Northeast.  View the Rowing News magazine article here.
($20,000 WellMet grant in 2015)
Scholarship Plus finds, encourages and supports outstanding economically deprived NYC high school graduates to realize college completion and graduate debt-free. This month marks Scholarship’s 10th class and its largest to date, awarding 12 New York City high school seniors with college scholarships and individualized support. They will be honoring these students and the Teachers Who Make a Difference on June 3rd at NYU Rosenthal Pavilion. At present, they are working with 39 students who are presently in college and boast 37 college graduates.  
( $20,000 WellMet grant in 2014)
Founded by an MIT grad who saw especially women of color dropping out from pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and math, STEM marries twice weekly dance programs in Brooklyn with STEM tutoring. Here’s information about their annual summer program: 
Girls Rise Up by STEM From Dance: 2019 Summer Program <Apply by May 5>
Spend three weeks falling in love with code and dance - and the magic that happens when you bring the two together. Over the course of the program, girls will be introduced to software and electrical engineering principles, as well as choreography fundamentals. They will learn to write code, construct circuits, and create movement. By the end of the three weeks they will have a tech project they imagined and brought to life, and a dance routine that incorporates it. This is an opportunity to collaborate with inspiring instructors, build community, and let creativity flow. This program runs July 8 - July 26 (M - F) from 9AM - 3PM. Learn more here , and apply by May 5
($7,500 WellMet grant in 2018)

NMTA prepares academically gifted black students for the Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT) and supports the students socially and academically while in high school. Students work on verbal skills, math problem-solving and test-taking strategies. Look what Navigate has accomplished in two short years:
In 2019 only 190 black students received offers to specialized high schools out of 5,488 black test takers. Navigate the Maze to Achievement (NTMA) had 20 students take the SHSAT and 7 received offers - 4 to Brooklyn Technical High School and 3 to The Brooklyn Latin High School. 3.96% of Black students citywide passed the SHSAT, and 35% of NTMA students passed the SHSAT.
This is worth celebrating! Navigate the Maze to Achievement's (NTMA) Second Annual Benefit will be held on Thursday, May 30th on the rooftop of the Brooklyn Children's Museum.  Click here for the event information.
($20,000 WellMet grant in 2005)

Established in 2002, Share provides leadership and morality training for kids ages 12-24 through workshops, integrating community-based services to meet the needs of families living below the poverty line. Workshops offer help in career development, youth leadership, film and media, gang violence and for the special needs of seniors.
On January 19th, 2019, S4L was awarded (for the 2nd time) a 5 year contract with the Board of Education of the New York City school district a Multiple Task Award, commencing on April 1, 2019 extending through March 31, 2024, in an estimated annual amount of $90k - to provide student support services for youth in grades K-12 ; for the following Share 4 Life (3) programs: Youth Film & Media, Career Awareness & Development & Youth Leadership workshops.
S4L launched Pressure Makes Diamonds Women's Empowerment Conference with TV reality star Angela Simmons to reach 10k teenage girls & women in 10 cities in this calendar year. PMD mission is to inspire, motivate and empower teenage girls and millennial women to develop a positive self-image, confidence, courage and knowledge to be successful and live a healthy lifestyle.  
($20,000 WellMet grant in 2016)
Queens-based C enter for I mmigration and A dvancement of N ew A mericans serves new immigrants in New York City. Its mission is to prevent the growing marginalization of new immigrants and refugees leading to their successful integration into the socio-economic and civic life of America while continuing to maintain pride in their cultural heritage.
CIANA has been awarded a $35,000 grant from the Coalition for Asian Americans for Children and Families through the Communities of Color Nonprofit Stabilization Fund for the 2019 fiscal year. This grant will allow it to build out its client-centric database management system as well as to purchase new computers and software to keep up with increasing demands for data-tracking and program effectiveness. CIANA was also featured in  BoroMag (page 32) as one of the places to give back to the local community in Western Queens.     
($20,000 WellMet grant in 2013)
Here’s the news straight from their E.D., Cindy Senyah Baah:
What is Determined To Educate, Inc.? We MENTOR, We EDUCATE and create opportunities which allow our students to build confidence within themselves. In 10 years, we have worked with over 7000 students so far; exposing them to programs such as our “Speaker Series” which brings prominent figures and professionals to the schools we work with; sharing the life stories of individuals and how they became so successful; 'The Exposure Tour’ where we take students on trips to different sites in the business world. This assures them that there are wider ranges of opportunities for them to grab onto. We have visited sites with the students such as The Barclays Center, WABC/Channel 7 Studios and Starbucks’ Corporate Offices. We have also created a “Job Opportunities” program which has landed over 100 students in jobs with companies such as Rite Aid, Walgreens, TD Bank, Eurest at American Express, CBRE at American Express and BJ’s Wholesale. We were also able to collect over 400 suits and dresses (which were donated by high level executives from Fortune 100/500 companies) for students to use on interviews.
($15,000 WellMet grant in 2018)
Prison Writes assists participants in successful rehabilitation and re-entry through workshops that provide literacy development and writing skills as well as practice in college-essay and resume writing. Workshops are co-facilitated by a social worker and a professional writing teacher to attend to social emotional needs as well as writing skills. In addition to therapeutic writing, participants are guided in their writings to advocate for their cases in the criminal justice system and to tell their personal stories to gain better self understanding.  Check out their blog and in the meantime, here’s a haunting poem called " Freedom," from the anthology This Is Me published by the Student Press Initiative, Columbia University, Copyright 2018 by a Prison Writes alum:

By Jahnique Roundtree   
Rikers Island Jail 3-29-18

Freedom is dangerous, it knocks you down
With force that feels bone crushing, heart-breaking, breath taking

Freedom is distant, we all want it but are too
Far behind to get it, we rather fight, steal, rob, kill
And break what we call freedom down from the roots
It was once created from

Freedom is spoken of, but never shown, we dream
Of such a thing, but are snatched back in to reality
Of crooked cops, dysfunctional families,
Overpriced items and greedy society

Freedom is not free, each day we awake we have to earn freedom
Work for long hours for such lil pay, pay back our employers for employing us
And having nothing we can call our own.

Freedom is not comedy, we walk this earth
Like freedom can’t be robbed from us
We laugh at it, push it to the side, but cry when it’s gone
($25,000 WellMet grant in 2017)

Culture for One’s mission is to enrich the lives and improve the futures of youth in the foster care system. Access to the arts, rarely available to youth in foster care, is a vital means of stimulating a child’s intellectual development. Culture for One partners with social service agencies and foster care facilities to provide free programs such as excursions to visual and performing arts venues, onsite arts workshops for youth who are not able to travel, and distribution of home art projects for tots to foster parents.
A pilot 5-part arts workshop included a museum visit and a curriculum of reading, discussion, writing, parchment-making, sketching, painting and archival box making.
The classes were based on the art of Firelie Baez with the focus of turning a negative narrative into positive action. Students visited Baez’ exhibit “Joy Out of Fire” at the Schomburg Center for Research on Black Culture depicting women activists of color.
($20,000 WellMet grant in 2017)
Representing the Bronx, Harlem, and Brooklyn, the 4th Annual Tomorrow's Leaders Invitational Tournament featured over 15 teams ending with I.S. 339 (Bronx) defeating I.S. 323 (Brooklyn) with a score of 52 to 50 in our Championship Game. Special shoutout to the participating schools and staff members who made this tournament a success.
Tomorrow's Leaders NYC is now partnered with six schools; three schools in the Bronx and three in Brooklyn. 
TLNYC's Founder and Executive Director, Toyin Ayanfodun, recently spoke on the moral role philanthropy plays in supporting social enterprise at Harvard Business School's Social Enterprise Panel. 
($25,000 WellMet grant in 2018)
UpBeat operates a music center at two sites in the Mott Haven neighborhood of the South Bronx for children ages 5-21. The programs are free, instruments are mostly donated and admission is on a first come first served basis. The music center develops social and musical skills through pre-orchestra classes, private lessons, sectionals, ensemble playing, peer mentoring and public performance.
UpBeat is proud to announce that their principal cellist, MaryBeth, now completing her 7th year at UpBeat, has been accepted at her first-choice college, Ithaca College, with a music scholarship to pursue her dream of becoming a music educator! She will be the first in her family to attend college. UpBeat NYC uses the pursuit of musical excellence and ensemble performance to bring about positive change in the lives of South Bronx children.
Nominate an Organization
WellMet is currently accepting nominations for our 2019-20 grant cycle. In order to be eligible, organizations must serve the NYC population; have either 501(c)(3) status or a fiscal sponsor; have been in operation for at least one year; and have a budget between $25k-$750k. Please email your suggestions to: 
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You can read more about membership here , and e-mail if you're interested in joining.  
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WellMet’s mission is to support community-based social innovation by funding emerging New York City nonprofits, while actively engaging women in philanthropy.