The Women's and Girls' Fund Announces 2013 Grant Recipients
May 1, 2013

The Women’s & Girls’ Fund, a leadership initiative of Kern Community Foundation, today announced $25,000 in grant allocations in its sixth cycle of competitive grant-making to Kern County non-profit organizations. Those that serve Kern County women or girls within the focus area of education and training were invited to apply for funds. Four successful grant recipients were introduced today at the Women’s & Girls’ Fund annual luncheon celebration. Those receiving awards include:

Community Action Partnership of Kern ($4,250) – Starting this month, CAPK will offer a Pre-Employment Resource Program at southeast Bakersfield’s Friendship House benefitting 50 young women (ages 14-18). This program seeks to increase high school graduation rates, promote college attendance, provide job skills training and work experience, and encourage professional development and careers over low-paying, low-skilled jobs. Expansion to the Shafter Youth Center is planned after the pilot program is completed and evaluated. 

Latina Leaders of Kern County ($6,250) - Their Youth Leadership Program will draw 100 high school girls from across Kern County into a culturally-relevant project that strongly promotes college attendance and community engagement.  Sessions will be tailored to three groups: middle school, sophomore/junior, and senior students.

Mountain Communities Family Resource Center ($4,250) - A Single Parent Program will be presented in Frazier Park, offering career-building skills, financial literacy, goal setting, and community involvement, while encouraging college attendance as appropriate. Sessions will be videotaped for ongoing use, and the curriculum will be shared within the Kern County Collaborative System for potential replication at resource centers across Kern.

Planned Parenthood ($10,000) – Bakersfield teen mothers will benefit from the “Bright Futures” project that provides intensive intervention to develop academic skills and improve participants’ outcomes for: high school graduation; reduced dropout rates; and advancement to post-secondary education and/or job training opportunities. This pilot project builds on the effective Teen Success program (established 1990) in 32 sites across four states.  

“Since 2011, we have focused our competitive grantmaking on education and training and will continue this focus through 2015,” said Judi McCarthy, founding organizer of the Women’s & Girls’ Fund. “In fact, of $131,000 in grants awarded since 2008, more than $105,000 has been directed to education and training programs.” 

The Women’s & Girls’ Fund received 20 letters of intent to apply for funding in November, 2012. From these, the Grants Allocation Committee invited eight organizations to submit full applications and participate in interviews. “The grantees we ultimately selected proposed projects that fit best within the Women’s and Girls’ Fund focus, and they offered the best potential for replicability, expansion, or other impact beyond direct service,” McCarthy reported.

Two additional grants totaling $1,000 were announced to honor Shafter resident Winnie Bartel and Kern Valley High School senior Jessica Yasin.  They were recognized at the Women’s and Girls’ Fund event for their philanthropic leadership.  As “Women Defining Philanthropy,” Bartel and Yasin selected the Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault and the Junior Diabetes Research Foundation to receive $500 grants in their honor.

The Women’s & Girls’ Fund was launched in 2005 as a leadership initiative of Kern Community Foundation. The endowment fund has grown beyond $888,000, and a campaign is underway to build it to $1 million by 2015. “From an endowment of that size, we can offer grants of up to $50,000 each year,” McCarthy said.

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 grant maker 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 $16 million, and has awarded more than $9 million to improve Kern County’s quality of life.

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