Our First Youth Grantmakers | Meet the Spark Prize Committee + More from Your Community Foundation

May 12, 2016

Celebrating Youth Voice: Our First Youth Grantmakers

Last month, we were the proud host of Brooklyn’s first-ever Youth Voice Awards—a celebration of youth-led grantmaking. Over 50 youth, their families, and nonprofit leaders joined our dynamic Brooklyn Youth Fellows as they awarded 6 youth-led projects with grants of over $2,000 each. 

Youth Voice Award Recipient Hasiba Haq for the “Sari Project” 

The Fellows spent the past 9 months working together to design a grant program that supports neighborhood and school-based projects led by Brooklyn youth. Their own unique experiences, as well as their work at nonprofits across Brooklyn through the Fellowship, contributed to the program’s focus and goals.

The projects they selected will address race, gentrification, reproductive education, food justice, street-involved youth, and intergenerational immigrant experiences.

Spark Prize: Meet the Committee

Members of the Spark Prize Committee at a Kickoff Reception this Week

Our 32-member Spark Prize Committee is a diverse mix of distinguished neighborhood, nonprofit, civic, and business leaders all hailing from Brooklyn. Together, they’re responsible for narrowing down the highly competitive applicant pool to 20 finalists and 5 winners, who will collectively receive up to $600,000.

The Committee includes representatives from three city agencies, 10 nonprofit organizations (including five private foundations), and six entrepreneurs who have started businesses in Brooklyn.

Spark Prize FAQ + Application Clinic

More than 90 nonprofits attended the first Spark Prize Application Clinic this week at Borough Hall. We compiled their questions into a FAQ covering eligibility, application content, selection process, and funding. Nonprofits can attend a second Application Clinic on Tuesday, May 17th from 10-11AM at Concord Baptist Church of Christ. 

The Spark Prize application deadline is Friday, June 3 at 12pm. Learn more at SparkPrize.org.

Brooklyn Restorative Justice Project: Introducing Our Evaluator 

Project Evaluator Dr. Anne Gregory of Rutgers University

We’re pleased to announce that Dr. Anne Gregory, Associate Professor at Rutgers University’s Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology, will be the evaluator for our Brooklyn Restorative Justice Project, working with us over the next four years to help build a sustainable, racially just model for school discipline reform in New York City schools. 

Anne has conducted research and evaluation to help schools nationwide improve their implementation of Restorative Justice, including Denver Public Schools. Her commitment to high quality Restorative Justice is driven by the need to reduce race and gender disparities in school discipline.

On our Insights to Impact blog, Anne shares four key lessons from her previous research and why they are critical to our success going forward.

Further Reading: In the final installment of blog posts from the four Restorative Justice Coordinators working in our partner schools, Partnership with Children’s Suzanne Hitchman writes about her initial experiences at Ebbets Field Middle School in Crown Heights and how she’s helping usher in a new era for students, staff, and parents.