By Kelly Medinger
Announcing our second round of grant recipients in our Building Opportunities in Out-of-School Time initiative
Kids need committed and caring adults to help them navigate life. Out-of-school time programs are a great avenue to build those relationships and help them realize their full potential. Yet an increasing number of low-income students are on the sidelines, and older youth in particular (those in middle and high school) often face the most complex barriers to participation.
Our BOOST initiative focuses on reaching these older youth. Our goal is to engage and retain them in comprehensive out-of-school time programs that promote enduring life skills. Recognizing there are many ways to do this, our strategy is all about relationships.
In our research and conversations with field experts, we learned a growing body of evidence suggests that a consistent relationship with a caring adult is the single most important ingredient to increasing the likelihood that a young person will flourish and become a productive adult.
Through our BOOST initiative, we would like to see organizations demonstrate significant depth, duration, and reach of informal and formal mentoring relationships between older youth and caring adults. With those measures, research says in the long-term these youth will experience improved educational outcomes and labor market success, improved decision-making capabilities, and beneficial effects on a number of other well-being variables – all of which point to our founders’ deep-seated value of education, opportunity, and hard work.
This year we are pleased to announce our second round of BOOST initiative grants, totaling $198,000 to two organizations in Baltimore.
BOOST Awards: Round II
- Baltimore SquashWise: $90,000 grant over two years ($45,000/year) to support the general operations of this organization, which aims to create opportunities for students to realize their academic, athletic and personal potential through the sport of squash
- SAFE CENTER (Safe Alternative Foundation for Education, Inc.): $108,000 grant over three years ($35,000/year one; $36,000/year two; $37,000/year three) to support salary expenses of this organization, which seeks to inform and encourage Baltimore City youth of the importance of obtaining an education and creating an adaptable life plan
BOOST is a 5-year, $1 million initiative. Participation is by invitation only. We look forward to sharing what we learn from this initiative over time.