Victoria Foundation News

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Victoria Foundation’s Youth-Led Grantmaking Initiative Announces $50,000 in Grants

next-ge_20230522-191321_1 NextGen Youth

NextGen Grantmakers select three Newark-based nonprofits for inaugural funding round:

Victoria Foundation's NextGen Grantmakers announced the organizations to receive grants in their inaugural funding cycle. The $50,000 in grants is going to three Newark-based nonprofits focusing on youth self-determination.

The NextGen Grantmakers Fund is led by a cohort of nine Newark youth, who developed the vision and mission for the grantmaking resources and designed the criteria, application and selection process. The project, a partnership with The Gem Project, is a part of the Foundation's new mission to strengthen community power, foster economic justice, and promote youth self-determination, in order to build community power for generations to come.

"We are so grateful for the opportunity to partner with young people in and from Newark," says Craig Drinkard who is the Chief Executive Officer at the Victoria Foundation. "Our Board and Staff are intent on creating pathways for community partnerships in our grantmaking, this program is one example of that commitment."

Of 24 applications received, the cohort worked together to select the final 3 recipients. The organizations selected in the inaugural grantmaking cycle are:

  • Maroon Theatre Project ($20K) for the Lorraine Hansberry Youth Playwriting Fellowship, through this program, young people will have the opportunity to engage with socio political issues, collaborate with peers to produce plays that explore social justice topics of their choosing, and express themselves through the arts. Maroon Theatre Project, a New Jersey-based social justice theatre program that aims to foster critical consciousness, activism, and healing in youth through the arts,
  • SHE Wins, Inc. ($20K) to fund the SHE Wins Emerging Leaders Fellowship (#SELF), a college and career readiness and training program for high school girls and college-aged youth in the Newark and greater Newark area. The #SELF Program works to develop leadership, literacy, social-emotional learning, and career readiness for young women. SHE Wins, Inc. offers a free leadership program to middle and high school girls in Newar. It is a trauma informed program that uses a combination of social and emotional learning and rigorous college and career readiness training.
  • Leaders of the 21st Century ($10K) will support upgrading curriculum for the spring 2023 and fall 2023 year and hosting the first one-day convening in partnership with Arts High School dedicated to supporting conversations around mental health in spring 2024. Leaders of the 21st Century is committed to enhancing college and career readiness skills in high school students by offering a two-year fellowship exposing youth to workshops and trainings with career professionals exposing them to a variety of career fields of interest.

"We have learned so much from the youth leaders that are at the helm of this work," shared Brianna Suárez is the Strategy Officer leading the Foundation's work on Youth Self-Determination and staff lead for this initiative. "Their intentionality and care about how organizations are selected and their lens on what young people's priorities are in Newark was essential to this process."

Victoria Foundation is one of a handful of foundations that are incorporating community-led grantmaking approaches, and one of the few with a youth-specific program that puts decision-making and design in their hands.

Visit the Victoria Foundation website to learn more about the NextGen Grantmakers and see the funding guidelines and application. 

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Monday, 20 May 2024

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