Women's & Girls' Fund announces 2012 Grants
May 1, 2012

Support for Education and Training

The Women's & Girls' Fund, a leadership initiative of Kern Community Foundation, today announced $20,000 in grant allocations in its fifth cycle of competitive grant-making to Kern County nonprofit organizations. Those that serve Kern County women or girls within the focus area of education and training were invited to apply for funds.  Three successful grant recipients were introduced today at the Women's & Girls' Fund annual luncheon celebration.  Those receiving awards include:

Bakersfield Police Activities League - $10,000 (full funding).  This program will be an intense academic and life-skills enrichment program designed to help 30 at-risk Latina girls aged 11-14 reach their respective grade levels of competence, improve writing skills (grammar and structure), develop critical thinking and oral communication skills, improve academic grades, and lower the number of dropouts.  The grant budget includes a line item for the BPAL coordinator to present this curriculum to other California PAL organizations for possible replication.

Mercy Housing California - $6,760 (full funding).  The "Thriving in Life" curriculum being funded will provide seminar-style education programs designed to inspire 20 girls aged 12-16 from low and very low-income families in southeast Bakersfield.  This program will include academic goal-setting, college tours, exposure to relatable community leaders, health and wellness education, and leadership training.  The program coordinator will present curriculum to peers at other Mercy Housing properties in California for possible replication.

Covenant Community Services - $3,240 (partial funding).  Funding will be used to underwrite the equipment (laptop and projector) and production for "Project LIFT"  training videos geared to former foster youth aged 18-24 in the areas of education and vocation.  These web-based videos can be used at Covenant's campus, but also offers broader training possibilities via the organization's website, YouTube, and Vimeo.

"The Women's & Girls' Fund values social change grant-making, with grants that go beyond direct service to offer maximum community impact," said Judi McCarthy, founding organizer of the Women's & Girls' Fund.  "With these new grants announced today, our grant total to Kern County nonprofit organizations will be $105,000 since 2008," she added.

The Women's & Girls' Fund received 25 letters of intent to apply for funding in November, 2011.  From these, the Grants Allocation Committee invited eight organizations to submit full applications and participate in interviews.  With $20,000 to allocate, the committee quickly determined these three chosen programs will offer the broadest possible impact.

"We believe that when women and girls prosper, communities thrive," stated McCarthy.  "The Women's & Girls' Fund is poised to vote on an annual focus for each year's grants, but instead voted to focus on education and training for grants through 2015."  The Women's & Girls' Fund was launded in 2005 as a leadership initiative of Kern Community Foundation.

Kern Community Foundation is a vibrant nonprofit enterprise created by and for the people of Kern County.  Its mission is powerfully simple - the Foundation is growing community and growing philanthropy.  Kern Community Foundation is known as a home for Kern community philanthropists, a results-oriented grantmaker, and a trusted community leader.  Since its establishment in 1999, the Foundation has grown to hold more than 100 charitable funds with assets of more than $14 million, and has awarded more than $8 million to improve Kern County's quality of life.

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