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Young Women’s Initiative Awards $30,000 in Grants

The Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts is pleased to announce that our Young Women’s Initiative awarded $30,000 in grants to Springfield-serving organizations for 2022-2023.

Funding awarded during this grant cycle can be used towards an organization’s general operating expenses or to cover specific programmatic costs. Organizations selected to receive funding during this cycle have programs that work with young women and gender-expansive folks of color ages 16-24 years old that are based in Springfield, specifically in the areas of safety and anti-violence; economic security and prosperity; or leadership and visibility.

A cornerstone of the Young Women’s Initiative program is for participants to learn about the power of philanthropy as a tool for social change by becoming benefactors and philanthropists themselves. Each cohort is given a pool of grant dollars to disburse to local nonprofits that serve their cohorts’ priorities.

2022 – 2023 Grant Recipients include:

Dress for Success Western Massachusetts, to cover tuition for participants in their Foot in the Door workforce development program, ensuring that participants attain economic security by developing leadership and career-ready skills.

Keep Youth Dreaming & Striving, Inc. (KYDS Inc.), a grassroots organization founded and run by author, life coach, and educator Latoya Bosworth (a.k.a. Brenda’s Child), funds will be used towards this year’s She Got H.E.R.S. Health, Empowerment, Resilience and Self-Worth Conference, a full-day workshop for young women and girls ages 18 to 24 years old.

Massachusetts Jobs with Justice is the convening organization of Hampden County Community United, a coalition of organizers and activists from nonprofits, labor unions, and community groups working for the rights of workers.

Partners for a Healthier Community, a program of the Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts, convenes the Springfield Youth Mental Health Coalition. With a focus on BIPOC youth and young ages 12-24 years old, funds will be used on their mental health awareness communications campaign.

Offering trauma-informed services across the region, Tapestry’s sexual and reproductive health clinics (with one located in Springfield) provide preventative health care and treatment to 6,100 patients per year along with sexual and reproductive health education for about 2,000 people including youth in schools and juvenile detention centers and people in women’s jails and churches.

This year’s grantmaking committee was comprised of alumnae and current program participants, representing all five YWI cohorts. Committee members nominate organizations to apply, review applicants, and select recipients all while learning about philanthropy and nonprofit management.

Congratulations to this year’s grant recipients. We are excited to support their work over the coming year.