Programs to help girls succeed, combat sexual abuse and educate youth about freshwater issues have been selected for grants from the State Farm® Youth Advisory Board. Teens and staff from all three groups gathered Wednesday to celebrate and accept their grants from representatives of State Farm.
PEARLs for Teen Girls, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwakee and the Milwaukee Water Council were among 64 community organizations to receive a service-learning, youth-led grant across the United States and Canada.
The State Farm Youth Advisory Board has granted more than $19.8 million in grant money since its inception in 2006, empowering youth to implement service-learning in 340 communities.
The Milwaukee grant winners and their programs are:
· PEARLS for Teen Girls, $75,593.46 This program inspires girls in some of Milwaukee’s most socially and economically challenged neighborhoods to avoid teen pregnancy, succeed in school, aim for college, and ultimately enter the workforce and the community as dynamic leaders. Helping Hands in the Community is a component of PEARLS’ nationally recognized Self-Development Curriculum©, by which girls set goals and take action in the community to help their neighbors, serve in volunteer positions, and work on projects that promote justice and change for the betterment of the community. The PEARLS program tackles the key barriers to academic success for at-risk Milwaukee girls: low academic achievement and teen pregnancy.
· Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, $38,485 The Clubs are sponsoring SPEAK OUT—Silence Broken, a youth-led program that focuses on sexual abuse and its impact on people locally, globally and across cultures. Participants will research the issue, connect with community partners, develop a peer-to-peer healthy relationship curriculum and create interactive media. The program will culminate with a SPEAK OUT—Silence Broken Symposium and Take Back the Night event planned and implemented by youth and open to the public.
· The Milwaukee Water Council, $77,270.95 By implementing a leadership development program called Lead to Succeed, the Water Council seeks to increase youth awareness of freshwater issues, solutions, and educational/career opportunities by engaging them in service learning projects. Youth will create content for the Milwaukee Water Council’s Water Education website, which will be made available to about 250,000 K-12 youth in southeastern Wisconsin. The ‘Water 101’ Curriculum Resource Guide will include multiple topics and potential guest speakers, resource location and potential field trips will accompany each topic.
Service-learning, which combines service to the community with classroom curriculum, is a great way to master a subject and encourage civic responsibility, said Elizabeth Tharp, State Farm Vice President for Wisconsin. “We are proud of the Youth Advisory Board’s commitment to education, our communities and our youth.”
Applications are available for interested youth aged 17-20 to become a Youth Advisory Board member. More information can be found at www.statefarmyab.com.
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