Fri, 06/15/2012

On June 13th, YouthCare was awarded a grant of $100,000 by the Washington Women’s Foundation to support our GED program. This is a highly prestigious and highly competitive grant. Two hundred and seventy letters of inquiry were received by the Foundation. Only 25 nonprofits (five in each category of giving: arts and culture, education, health, human services and environment) were asked to submit full proposals. A thorough vetting process, including site visits by Foundation members, narrowed each category down to two applications. Finally, the entire membership of Washington Women’s Foundation (more than 500 women), voted on the one grant recipient in each category. YouthCare won its award in the category of Education.

Accepting the award for YouthCare was board member Ann Williams, who is also a devoted tutor in our GED program. “Now imagine if you will,” Ann asked of the Foundation members in the audience, “if you had to send your children into this job market without a high school education: think of the prospects of the jobs they could apply for. Not only does having their high school equivalency make a difference in the types of job they will get, it will affect their entire future. So on behalf of all of the young people who can make a better life for themselves, I thank you.”

Up to 75% of homeless youth leave school without graduating. For a young person who must wonder every day where her next meal is going to come from, how she will stay safe, and where to sleep, making progress and staying in school is nearly impossible. Every day on the street makes it harder to catch up again – only increasing the chance that they will plunge into chronic adult homelessness.

According to the National Center for Homeless Education, education programs must be individualized, flexible, and tailored to a student’s specific and unique needs in order to be effective. YouthCare offers such a program, the only local GED Program that is intentionally designed for youth who are homeless or unstably housed, who typically have dropped out of high school, are too far behind in credits, and need a GED to pursue a better future in college and employment. The program supports youth in developing fundamental academic skills, completing the five sections of testing, as well as preparing them with life-readiness skills including: goal-setting; personal organization; interpersonal engagement; self-awareness; accessing resources; self-advocacy; and time management.

The grant from the Washington Women’s Foundation will go a long way in supporting this vital education program, helping us to enroll 140 young people in our GED program over the next two years.

About Washington Women’s Foundation

The mission of Washington Women’s Foundation is to educate and expand the number of women engaged in philanthropy, and to build and strengthen community through individual and large impact grants. The Foundation’s members, now more than 500 strong, have invested $12.3 million of their own resources in nonprofit organizations in the last 17 years ($6.3 million in pooled grants; $6.0 million in individual grants).

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