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Wellness Works Update: Grant Funding Awarded to Youth-Serving Partners

In June, The Skillman Foundation announced its Wellness Works Initiative, pledging to grant $3 million toward wellness programs and activities for Detroit youth, educators, and youth-service providers. The Initiative is partially supported by a grant from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative DAF, an advised fund of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative selected The Skillman Foundation as one of five city-based partners to support wellness work, providing $1.5M of the $3M we intend to fund.

As a part of the Initiative, in July the Foundation made grants to 27 youth-serving partners to enable them to implement a range of activities and supports to address the social, emotional, and mental well-being concerns they are seeing. These grants were a direct response to what we have been hearing from partners over the past year: young people and the adults who work closely with them are experiencing unprecedented levels of burnout, fatigue, exhaustion, and disengagement. 

First Tranche of Small Grants Will Support a Range of Innovations

Detroit organizations that received these grants, ranging from $5,500 to $20,000, plan to employ a wide variety of different approaches and activities to support both young people and adults over the next 6-12 months.

While each organization will carry out different efforts, there are some common themes.

In total, these grants aim to engage approximately 10,000 young people and adults across Detroit.

The Future of Wellness Works

This first tranche of small grant funding is only one aspect of the Wellness Works Initiative. We previously announced our support for the 2021 Principal Wellness Professional Learning Community and another opportunity for Detroit principals is coming soon! This fall, principals will have the opportunity to apply for funding for in-school efforts that support educator and/or student well-being and support healthy climate and culture.

This initiative is a learning experience for both our partners and The Skillman Foundation. As we work towards supporting mental and emotional well-being and as uncertainties about the pandemic continue, we will continue to listen to and champion the needs of Detroit’s youth-serving organizations to create a stronger, more prosperous future for Detroit kids.

Ashlee Schmidt

Provides strategic support across the program team and Opportunity Agenda, supporting planning, alignment, measurement, and collaboration across Foundation units

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