The WellMet Gazette 
                                      Volume Three, April 2018

Welcome to the third WellMet Gazette Newsletter.

You’ll be reading about twenty-five of our past grantees - their updates, awards, news and media coverage.  Check them all out - each one is, in the true sense of the word, awesome! We are also beginning to plan for our 20th anniversary party to be held in May, 2019.  See below for all the fun.
Happy Spring everyone,

Deborah McManus,


May, 2019, WellMet will celebrate 20 years of being in the hugely rewarding business of finding and supporting new and small 501(c)(3)s in our five boroughs. We’re planning a birthday bash on May 3, 2019 for us and for our almost 200 grantees, so MARK YOUR CALENDAR! We hope to see as many as possible of our past members as well as our grantee organizations represented at our Harlem-based birthday party (6:00-8:30pm). Some very cool surprises in store!


($20,000 WellMet grant in 2012)
Linda Sarsour, Executive Director of The Arab-American Association of New York and Co-Chair of the 2017 Women’s March is being honored at The New York Women’s Foundation ’s annual breakfast in May.  The AAANY was founded after 9/11 to provide social services, immigration, citizenship and employment preparation, access to health services and youth programs.
($10,000 WellMet grant in 2014)
Arts & Minds has been selected by the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund as a member of the inaugural cohort in their new Arts in Health initiative. The foundation’s new multi-year project will support organizations working with a range of health concerns impacting New Yorkers, including Alzheimer's and other age-related diseases. They will be joining with other prominent NYC organizations to advance the arts as a tool for healing. Arts & Minds programs are designed to improve quality of life for people with dementia and their care partners through meaningful contact with art.
($18,000 WellMet grant in 2010)
Last year, Founder and ED Ana Reyes was selected as a 2017 Nantucket Project Scholar, which provided her year-long access to high wealth and networked individuals as well as to other social entrepreneurs, technical assistance and funding.
($20,000 WellMet grant in 2015)
YNY Founder and Executive Director, Rachel G. Barnard, has been awarded the Department of Probation NYC PAIR residency as well as an A Blade of Grass Fellowship for Socially Engaged Art for her project The Fair , which expands on YNY’s model for shifting working cultures within the criminal legal system. YNY is committed to bringing positive systemic change to the ways that teens and young adults are prosecuted in NYC. Through YNY’s arts-based diversion programs, court-involved young people first avoid jail, swiftly exiting the criminal justice system without incurring a lifelong criminal record, and second, become advocates for themselves and for a transformed legal system.
($10,000 WellMet grant in 2001)
This organization, founded in l995, held their annual benefit, Voices, hosted by news personality Soladad O’Brien partly to help finance construction of their new home in Harlem. Ground-breaking is set at any minute for construction of a 20,000 square foot modern building that they hope will be completed in 2020. Bro/Sis is in its second year of partnering with Arbor Brothers, working together on key deliverables such as Data Analysis and Growth Planning.
($20,000 WellMet grant in 2008)
Day One offers anti-violence programs to teens. This program continues to engage teens in strategies to keep them and their peers safe (especially in dating situations) through community services, legal advocacy, law-based programs, workshops and direct counseling. Watch their new, powerful 2:45 minute video, Don’t Confuse Love & Abuse below.
( $15,000 WellMet grant in 2009)
This program impacts tens of thousands of people in the South Bronx every year. TheHopeLine has the only diaper distribution program in the Bronx helping over 325 children a month, a very successful food distribution program providing 300,000 lbs of food a year, computer training, Civics classes and long- running ESL programs. In just under a year we have secured over $200,000 in annual SNAP (food stamps) benefits and nearly $95,000 in filed tax returns.
($20,000 WellMet grant in 2014)
Founded in l997 in Staten Island as a storefront center, El Centro provides services for Spanish-speaking (mainly Mexican) immigrants via programs for day laborers, ESL, health ed classes, AIDS testing and workers’ rights. It is also a Single Stop provider whose budget is just over $300,000. They are currently putting together their class and volunteer schedules.
($20,000 WellMet grant in 2014)
Script Ed, which brings tuition-free, learn-to-code programs directly to public high schools, is in its third year of partnership with Arbor Brothers. They are currently developing a financial model as well as tools and standards for the organization’ Board of Directors.
($20,000 WellMet grant in 2008)
New Heights is a sports-based youth development and educational organization which recently produced a 2:35 minute video stressing the importance of Teamwork. It’s now signing up rising 5-8th graders for their Summer Academy. In March, New Heights alum and current New York Knick Lance Thomas generously donated 75 tickets to the program over three games. On Sunday, Feb. 4, 30 high school girls and coaches were treated to a VIP experience as the Knicks took on the Atlanta Hawks.
($20,000 WellMet grant in 2015)
On January 27th UDL hosted its first all Girls Debate Tournament of the new year. 15 schools, 71 students, 56 volunteers, teachers and judges participated in the tournament. The day included debates, workshops, guest speakers, Women’s History Trivia Contest, Open Mic, Discussion Boards and More! All debaters received a copy of "Women Who Shaped America," and "Great Debaters Medal."
($20,000 WellMet grant in 2016)
HYPOTHEkids received a $150,000 grant from the Pinkerton Foundation to launch a new workforce development initiative called NY Bioforce . They have just completed our application process, and training starts on May 5th with most internships occurring over the summer. They're partnering with Weill-Cornell Medical Center and Columbia University for internship placements. Students will also be placed at start-ups at Harlem Biospace. Here is the description:
New York Bioforce is a workforce development program that provides underserved NYC high school students with 140 hours of strategically developed training designed to meet the needs of biomedical research labs, biotech start-ups, and biopharmaceutical companies. Through skill-mapping and knowledge of the needs of researchers, start ups, and biomedical companies, students will be placed in paid internships. With NYC poised to become a hub for the biotech, HYPOTHEkids' vision is to create a biotech talent pipeline that is representative of the diversity of NYC.
($20,000 WellMet grant in 2017)
Building Beats provides DJ and music programs that teach entrepreneurial, leadership and life skills to underserved youth.
Building Beats students provided the background music for WNYC's new podcast, "Caught", which examines Juvenile Justice in America and features candid stories from teenage offenders stuck in the system. It is facilitating DJ and Music Production workshops that teach life, leadership, and entrepreneurial skills to underserved youth, helping address issues like the school-to-prison pipeline through creativity and technology. Link to story:
($18,000 WellMet grant in 2010)
News Corp selected Let’s Get Ready as a 2018 Philanthropy Partner with a multi-year grant; one of only two organizations chosen to receive this honor. News Corp’s investment will help ensure that Let’s Get R eady’s in New York City participants who have been historically underrepresented in higher education get into and graduate from college. LGR provides free SAT prep, admission counseling and post-enrollment mentoring. It helps them get in college and graduate. Their peer-driven program keeps costs low and ensures outstanding success rates. Their Gala is April 23rd for any who want to help them celebrate.
($25,000 WellMet grant in 2017)
Culture received funding for their Next Steps Connections pilot mentoring program connecting volunteers with teens in foster care, designed to help provide a positive, ongoing and supportive adult presence to teens who are preparing for the difficult transition to independent adulthood. They are partnering with Good Shepherd Services and have received funding from the Redlich Horwitz Foundation to develop this program over the next year. Their first volunteer training sessions began in March.
 (Andrew Glover Youth Program)
($20,000 WellMet grant in 2006)
AFJ broke ground on the Lower East Side Robert Siegal Center computer and tutoring lab renovation in November 2017 and completed the project at the end of February 2018. The renovation project created a generous open space that is easier to supervise and that is better suited to larger group activities. Ten new computer workstations, which were donated to AFJ by Revivn, provide supervised internet access to the youths for job searches, tutoring and educational purposes. For photos of the newly renovated computer please go to the following link:   
($20,000 WellMet grant in 2016)
HYPOTHEkids received a $150,000 grant from the Pinkerton Foundation to launch a new workforce development initiative called NY Bioforce .
($10,000 WellMet grant in 2016)
YAC works to combat poverty and inequity by empowering youth to become changemakers in their own communities. And that includes seeing their members go to university. So far this year, members have been accepted to colleges and grad schools around the country including Howard University, SUNY Binghamton, SUNY Albany, Syracuse, Hunter College, and many more! YAC received funding earlier this year from BlackRock to develop a new program aimed at addressing disparities in the financial aid preparedness of students graduating from high school. Through this program, we will equip high school seniors from struggling high schools with the tools necessary to apply for a range of financial aid programs including FAFSA, CSS and TAP to fund their higher education.
($20,000 WellMet grant in 2015)
(SPLUS) has received a grant from the Meringoff Foundation to support its second full-time hire as a part of its strategic plan to double its impact. Scholarship Plus provides support for low-income, first generation NYC students through college by providing a substantial scholarship with academic and personal support—an approach that has resulted in a 100% college graduation rate.
($20,000 WellMet grant in 2016)
The Knowledge Houses serves "at-risk" young adults, 16-24 years of age, with tech-entrepreneurship training, job readiness and career support. TKH won Lumina Foundation’s Education Innovation Challenge with a $25k Cash Prize awarded by the Audience Vote. Jerelyn Rodriguez, Cofounder, pitched their tech training programs and youth career pathways initiative to a crowd of investors and philanthropists at the Lumina Investing in Future Talent and Education (LIFTed) Convening in New York City. You can read more about Rodriguez and The Knowledge House in Ozy Media's article, This is How Your Build a Leader in the South Bronx.
($20,000 WellMet grant in 2015)
Kings Against Violence Initiative is a hospital, school and community violence intervention program seeking to build a safer and stronger central Brooklyn by providing the social and emotional tools to neighborhood youth. In March, fourteen KAVI members traveled to Washington, DC to take part in the March for Our Lives demonstration.
GIRLS FOR GENDER EQUALITY ($20,000 WellMet grant in 2005)
Joanne Smith, Founder and Executive Director, interviewed on ABC 7 NY’s Here and Now in March, described her organization as providing a “safe space for girls, ages 11-24, where they can feel free, play, have a voice and gain resources.” One participant said that the program “gave me a purpose and allowed me to step up but also to step back.” In April, GGE celebrated its fifteenth anniversary. In December, Time Magazine’s cover story featured Senior Director Tarana Burke as Activist and one of this year’s Silence Breakers. Burke founded #Me Too twelve years ago in Brooklyn.
($18,000 WellMet grant in 2010)
I Challenge Myself recently co-hosted a media event with one of their donors, Laureus USA and Nike at their partner school, in the South Bronx. Olympic legend and Laureus USA Foundation's Chair, Edwin Moses, was among the distinguished guests. The event was used to announce the launch of Sport for Good New York City (S4G NYC) , a long-term commitment to improving the lives of underserved youth in the five boroughs of New York City through the power of sport.
($20,000 WellMet grant in 2017)
Tomorrow’s Leaders’ Founder and Executive Director Toyin Ayanfodun was featured last December on ABC 7 NY’s Here and Now , which covers issues, trends and news stories that impact the black community. The approach is holistic: students are given academic support and mentoring. Vocational trips and workshops are provided and families are brought into the picture to insure that motivation and support is also given at home. This free program is currently serving 120 middle school overage students who have been held back a grade at least one time.
($25,000 WellMet grant in 2017)
Culture For One was just featured on Fox 5 New York News Positively Ernie. They just held their Sixth Annual Benefit which Ernie Anastos of Fox 5 NY hosted.
($17,500 WellMet grant in 2006)
Opening Act recently teamed up with Omaze, Kristen Bell, and Dax Shepard to auction a fun holiday game night with the famous couple. Over 64 days the campaign engaged 14,986 donors from 61 countries to help Opening Act give students attending New York City’s most under-served public schools the opportunity to develop leadership, community, and commitment. Funds raised will allow Opening Act to: expand its programming, provide college scholarships,make its Act 2 College and Career Coordinator a full-time position and increase the length of its Summer Arts and Leadership Conservatory.
($15,000 WellMet grant in 2016)
On April 24, Comedian Alvin Irby will be joined by his pals at the legendary Gotham Comedy Club for an evening of fun. All proceeds will go directly to Barbershop Books.
($20,000 WellMet grant in 2014)
SFD envisions a world in which women of color are represented equitably in the STEM workforce. To this end, we use dance as a confidence-building, culturally responsive approach to attract and prepare girls for a future in STEM. SFD is hosting a summer intensive in July and is currently recruiting students. This summer, join a community of ambitious young ladies for an inspiring experience uncovering the magic that happens when you bring dance and coding together. The intensive runs from July 9-20 (Monday - Friday) for two weeks at 9AM - 3PM.
($18,000 WellMet grant in 2010)
Their Gala is April 23rd for anyone who wants to help them celebrate being selected by News Corp as a 2018 Philanthropy Partner with a multi-year grant; one of only two organizations chosen to receive this honor. News Corp’s investment will help ensure that Let’s Get R eady’s in New York City participants who have been historically underrepresented in higher education get into and graduate from college. 
($20,000 WellMet grant in 2015)
Scholarship Plus provides support for low-income, first generation NYC students through college by providing a substantial scholarship with academic and personal support—an approach that has resulted in a 100% college graduation rate. SPLUS just selected its new cohort, and will celebrate these 10 student winners and their 'Teachers Who Made a Difference' on June 11 (contact ED Kate Stokes, for more information or to attend).
Nominate an Organization
WellMet is currently accepting nominations for our 2018-19 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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We're always recruiting new WellMet members to our dynamic, all-volunteer group and we'd love you to join! Members meet four times a year, and also participate in a site visit.

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.