Milwaukee, Wis., Aug. 6, 2015 –The Greater Milwaukee Foundation has issued special grants to 17 local nonprofits for programs designed to strengthen Milwaukee neighborhoods. From a $1 million commitment made this year in collaboration with Wells Fargo, this first round of funding, totaling nearly $225,000, specifically focuses on summer youth and young adult employment programs as well as building the capacity of organizations leading this work.
As a result of the investment, 40 supervisors were hired, supporting more than 340 youth employed through these summer programs.
“Our shared understanding of the importance of strong neighborhoods resulted in a new partnership between the Greater Milwaukee Foundation and Wells Fargo that is already benefitting people in Milwaukee,” said Ellen M. Gilligan, president and CEO of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation. “The Foundation made this major commitment in honor of its 100th year of service to our community, but more importantly, because we know that healthy neighborhoods are essential to healthy cities.”
“The Greater Milwaukee Foundation shares our passion and commitment to helping individuals in our community succeed, and we’re pleased to join forces with them on this part of our Milwaukee NeighborhoodLIFT program,” said Sang Kim, Wells Fargo’s region president for Wisconsin. “The first phase of the program provided $15,000 down payment grants to more than 200 families toward the purchase of a home, a key first step in building wealth for many families. We also know that a critical component to success is a good job. By working together on this important initiative, we’re helping hundreds of our local youth build solid skills to improve their options for employment and embark on a career.”
Grant recipients include:
Albright United Methodist Church – $10,000 supporting implementation of an eight-week summer youth training and employment program through the Capitol Heights Neighborhood Association designed to teach healthy work habits, create a positive self-image for participants and their community, and help bridge the intergenerational communication gap.
City Kids Wrestling Club – $3,600 supporting a summer wrestling camp focusing on youth leadership development and held at Milwaukee Public High School sites, including Morse∙Marshall, Washington, Bradley Tech and Riverside.
Dominican Center for Women - $7,000 supporting a neighborhood-based summer youth employment program providing opportunities for young people to develop skills in landscape and lawn maintenance, job preparedness, and financial literacy.
Express Yourself Milwaukee - $2,500 supporting a six-week summer arts camp focused on youth training and employment, designed to teach healthy work habits, foster a positive self-image and community engagement.
Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast (GSWISE) - $4,846 supporting Project Care, a summer component of the GSWISE comprehensive Urban Initiative that provides leadership experience to girls from low-income neighborhoods in Milwaukee. Girls participating in the summer work experience earn an income while developing important workforce skills.
Groundwork Milwaukee - $9,979 supporting the Green Team summer work program, an eight-week youth training and employment program designed to teach healthy work habits, promote positive self-image and bridge intergenerational communication gaps.
Lead2Change - $10,000 supporting a seven-week Summer Leadership Institute designed to provide practical work experience for youth in jobs directly connected to their career interests while setting goals and building skills they identify.
Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board - $100,000 for the Earn & Learn summer youth employment program, supporting wages and benefits for 50 low-income youth to experience their first job and receive additional educational, social and vocational supports to prepare them to become successful and productive adults.
Neu-Life Community Development - $10,000 supporting an eight-week summer youth work program designed to teach basic gardening skills including how to prep a garden, planting, plant identification, garden maintenance, harvesting and preserving.
River Revitalization Foundation - $10,000 supporting the summer Land Steward Program, an eight-week youth training and development program designed to engage youth in the conservation of the Milwaukee River corridor, with a goal of increasing awareness and appreciation for the river.
Riverworks Development Corporation - $10,000 supporting the Neighborhood Ambassadors Program, which provides employment opportunities for young people as well as access to the Financial Opportunity Center via workshops and one-on-one coaching. Training includes money management, building and improving credit, soft skills in the workplace, planning and goal setting. The center also assists participants with securing permanent employment.
Running Rebels - $10,000 supporting a summer youth employment program that assists with mental, physical and spiritual growth while promoting community; increasing employability and jobs skills; and creating a greater sense of connection between youth and their community. Opportunities include food service, general office, general maintenance, music and entertainment, sports and recreation, and community organizing.
Signature Dance Company - $7,500 supporting supervisors for the Summer Arts Intensive, who will train youth works as coaches for the summer camp. Youth responsibilities include assisting with workshops, greeting parent campers, and preparing and serving meals.
Triangle of Hope - $2,411 supporting a seven-week summer youth training and employment day camp through New Hope Missionary Baptist Church to help youth foster and develop a good work ethic, work in teams and learn additional life skills that transfer to other work environments.
TRUE Skool, Inc. - $10,000 supporting the Leadership & Workforce Development Program focused on business and leadership development. Participants receive experience with project management, employability, event planning, working independently and in groups, interview preparation, networking skills and problem solving. At the end of six weeks, youth complete a professional portfolio that includes a cover letter, resume, monthly budget plan, headshot and marketing plan.
Walnut Way Conservation Corp - $7,000 supporting Growing Youth Leadership, a neighborhood-based, collaborative youth employment program that engages 8-10 teens in intensive urban agriculture work while providing leadership development and educational opportunities. Youth also participate in weekly learning labs and help organize community service projects.
Wisconsin Community Services - $10,000 supporting youth leadership and development through an eight-week summer employment program for 30 youth at the Holton Youth and Family Center.
Recipients of these grants responded to a competitive RFP (request for proposals) issued earlier this summer. In April, Wells Fargo awarded the Foundation a $500,000 grant through its Milwaukee NeighborhoodLIFT program. The Foundation matched that investment with a $500,000 commitment in honor of its centennial and to demonstrate the importance of neighborhoods to the city’s vitality.
The $1 million pool of resources will continue to support such areas as employment and housing – critical elements to sustaining strong neighborhoods.
For a century, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation has helped individuals, families and organizations realize their philanthropic goals and make a difference in the community, during their lifetimes and for future generations. The Foundation consists of more than 1,200 individual charitable funds, each created by donors to serve the charitable causes of their choice. The Foundation also deploys both human and financial resources to address the most critical needs of the community and ensure the vitality of the region. Established in 1915, the Foundation was one of the first community foundations in the world. Ending 2014 with more than $841 million in assets, it is also among the largest.