The Women's and Girls' Fund Announces 2014 Grant Recipients
Apr 30, 2014

2014 Vision Committee

(Bakersfield, Calif., April 30, 2014) – The Women’s and Girls’ Fund, a leadership initiative of Kern Community Foundation, today announced $30,000 in grant allocations in its seventh cycle of grantmaking 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 and Girls’ Fund annual luncheon celebration.  Those receiving awards include: 

Dress for Success Bakersfield - $7,000  The grant to Dress for Success (DFS) builds the capacity of its Career Center. Best known as a boutique that offers gently used suits and accessories to clients referred to them by partner agencies, DFS also provides a Career Center where clients can learn administrative skills, interview techniques, resume writing, and computer skills. DFS supports women returning to work after a long absence or entering the work force for the first time. 

Youth 2 Leaders Education Foundation - $8,000  This grant addresses college entry barriers for emancipating foster youth.  Youth 2 Leaders (Y2L) will partner with Covenant Community Services to provide seminars for emancipating foster girls, covering such topics at Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), Chafee Grants, scholarships, and college application essays. The grant also funds training for program staff and high school counselors who can offer similar instruction in future years. 

Kern Adult Literacy Council - $15,000  Funding supports a pilot program partnering Kern Adult Literacy Council (KCAL) with Bakersfield City School District (BCSD) to offer small-group ESL classes to mothers from economically-disadvantaged communities around 11 BCSD campuses. The project’s ultimate goal is to encourage parents to continue a path to literacy while improving school, student, and parent communication. KALC tested a mini-pilot of the project last year at Stella Hills Elementary School to great success. 

“The Women’s and Girls’ Fund values social change grantmaking with grants that go beyond direct service to offer maximum community impact,” said Judi McCarthy, founding chair of the Women’s and Girls’ Fund. “This year, our grants to Kern Adult Literacy Council and Youth 2 Leaders are particularly exciting to us.  We believe that our investment in their projects will reap benefits far beyond this year of funding.”  

The Women’s and Girls’ Fund received 12 letters of intent to apply for funding in November 2013. From these, the Grants Allocation Committee invited five organizations to submit full applications and participate in interviews.  The committee allotted the full $30,000 available to them for competitive grants.  In addition, two $500 grants were made to honor Women Defining Philanthropy Joan Dezember and sisters Isabella and Sophia Busacca.  These benefited Garden Pathways Inc. and DreamCatchers, which grants wishes to elderly hospice patients.

“With these new grants announced today, our grant total to Kern County nonprofit organizations will be $166,000, added McCarthy.  “From this total we have directed $130,000 to programs focused on education and training for girls and women. Our focus on education and training continues through 2015.  At that time, the Women’s and Girls’ Fund will reconsider its grantmaking focus alongside new community research.”  The Women’s and Girls’ Fund was launched in 2005 as a leadership initiative of Kern Community Foundation. 

Kern Community Foundation is a vibrant nonprofit enterprise with the powerfully simple mission of growing community and growing philanthropy. The Foundation is in business to serve as a charitable resource for local donors and corporations, and to generate capital that provides philanthropic solutions to help make Kern County a better place to live, to work and to visit. Since its establishment in 1999, the Foundation has grown to hold more than 100 charitable funds with assets of more than $18 million, and has awarded more than $10 million to improve Kern County’s quality of life.

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