Economy, Education, Equity

19 Collaborative Efforts Building Opportunity for Detroit Kids

Ninteen organizations have been selected to receive funding as part of The Skillman Foundation’s Call for Collaborations, a unique grant opportunity that called on organizations applying for funding to do so in partnership with at least one other entity. Partnerships could be between nonprofits, schools, government agencies or for-profit organizations.

“We believe wholeheartedly in the power of collaboration and its ability to generate the diversity of perspectives, ideas and partnerships necessary to create change,” said David McGhee, Skillman Foundation program director. “The Call for Collaboration represents a unique way to carry this idea through our grantmaking.”

In total, the Call for Collaboration received 74 applications representing more than 200 different organizations, for a total funding request of $13 million. The quality of submissions were so impressive that the Foundation doubled the amount of funding allocated to the initiative from an expected $1.5 million to just shy of $3 million.

To ensure a thoughtful and holistic review, Skillman staff engaged community partners to help make the selections for grant awards. The process ultimately resulted in funding 19 partnerships involving more than 50 organizations and representing a wide range of activities and missions.

Awardees are listed below:

Big Brothers Big Sisters, in partnership with DESC, AAA, FedEx, and GM($200,000 over two years): Connecting 95 youth in the Cody Rouge neighborhood with one-on-one mentors who help them explore future education and career goals.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan, in partnership with Bow Elementary ($200,00 over two years): Providing students, parents, and staff at Bow Elementary with a range of activities and workshops to grow in-school opportunities and strengthen family academic support.

Brilliant Detroit, in partnership with Center for Success Detroit, DPSCD, and GVSU-authorized schools ($175,000): Providing one-on-one, individualized literacy interventions for 150 students, pre-K through third grade, at four Brilliant Detroit locations. Through this partnership, 100 parents/families will receive tools and supports to enable literacy support at home.

Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund, Inc., in Partnership with the City of Detroit and banking institutions ($200,000): Developing an integrated financial literacy education and banking access strategy that extends beyond the Grow Detroit’s Young Talent summer programming into year-round youth employment programs.

Coalition on Temporary Shelter, in partnership with Chalkboards and Erasers, and Detroit Parent Collective ($200,000 over two years): Establishing Art+LifeChange, a new collaborative project that uses art plus social-emotional engagement to help low-income, homeless and/or recently homeless youth develop and strengthen their executive functioning skills (working memory, cognitive flexibility, and inhibitory control).

Detroit Food and Entrepreneurship Academy, in partnership with 15 school and community centers ($200,000): Providing 300 youth with exposure and experience in food entrepreneurship that sparks leadership development, career exposure, youth employment and financial self-sufficiency.

Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation, in partnership with FIRST of Michigan, General Motors, and TACOM ($135,000): Deepen youth engagement with 80 elementary and middle school students in Southwest Detroit through STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) programming that will help build their academic and developmental foundations.

Detroit Horse Power in partnership with DPSCD ($45,000): Growing students’ perseverance, empathy, responsible risk-taking, confidence and self-control (PERCS) skills through after-school workshops and weekend horse connection trips.

Give Merit in partnership with the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy ($200,000): Strengthening the FATE x JRLA college and career pathways program, which provides academic enrichment, mentoring, and career development to students at Jalen Rose Leadership Academy (JRLA).

Grace in Action Collectives in partnership with UNI, Academy of the Americas, Southwest Detroit Community School, Detroit Community Technology Project, U of M Dearborn, and Detroit Community Wealth Fund ($200,000 over two years): Growing cooperative-based employment in Southwest Detroit through digital technology training for youth that leads to financial self-sufficiency in adulthood.

Soar Detroit in partnership with DPSCD ($175,000): Providing in-school literacy interventions for 150 Detroit students, grades 1-3 across three schools.

InsideOut Literary Arts Project in partnership with The Neutral Zone and Detroit Creativity Project ($140,000): Engaging 120 Detroit students through arts and leadership workshops that help them discover new ways to share their experiences and perspectives through written and spoken word.

Life Remodeled in partnership with The Lawn Academy ($150,000 over two years): Engaging 100 Detroit youth in leadership training, mentoring, college immersion programming, and community service projects – assisting those who are elderly, veterans and disabled/handicapped with lawn care and snow removal services at no charge.

Midnight Golf Program in partnership with 100 Black Men of Detroit, BUILD Institute, Clark Park and more ($200,000): Expanding the organization’s capacity to serve an additional 500 youth and offer them a wide variety of informational and networking opportunities to build their understanding of college, university and post-secondary opportunities.

New Detroit, Inc. in partnership with Atlantic Impact, Detroit Training Center (DTC), and the United Way for Southeastern Michigan (UWSEM) ($150,000): Supporting the Our Town Works: Skilled Trades Exposure Program which provides career exposure and job attainment for Detroit high school students in the skilled trades.

Racquet Up Detroit in partnership with the Detroit Parks and Recreation Department, GOAL Line neighborhood schools, and the Northwest Activities Center ($50,000):  Deepening impact of after-school squash lessons for students at three schools in northwest Detroit and while also expanding programming to include students at additional locations on the GOAL Line.

Urban Neighborhood Initiatives, Inc. in collaboration with attendance teams at three Detroit schools ($200,000): Working to decrease chronic absence rates in three middle schools in southwest Detroit through strategic afterschool and summer programs.

Wayne County Community College District in partnership with five Detroit charter schools authorized by Grand Valley State University and Eastern Michigan University ($400,000 over two years): Implementing the WCCCD Kids’ College program, a STEAM based afterschool initiative promoting positive attendance, improve academic, social and emotional outcomes, and increase parent and community awareness/engagement to decrease chronic absence in 250 K-8 students.

Wayne State University in partnership with the Detroit Housing Commission ($400,000 over two years): Expanding nutrition and physical activity programming to seven Detroit House Commission sites, serving a total of 2,500 youth.

For more information on the Call for Collaborations, click here to view the original application page. To read more about the process and what we learned from the experience, check out this recent blog.

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