Introducing The Skillman Visionary Awards

Announcing youth-led wellness grant opportunities

At The Skillman Foundation, Detroit youth are our bosses. We rely on them to help steer our organization and its work. When they say we should do something, we listen and take their directives to heart.

Over the last two years, the topic of wellness has been on the front of many young people’s minds. Living through a global pandemic and our country’s racial reckoning has put personal wellness in a challenging state. We’ve heard that now more than ever, youth need greater emphasis on and commitment to their wellness.

In a recent survey, we asked Detroit youth to share their ideas for wellness projects. We heard an outpouring of incredible ideas from 90 young people. Their ideas ranged from wellness rooms where young people can have safe space to just be teens and have creative outlets to narrative projects that help to educate the community about young people’s experiences.

As a result of the input of young people and guidance from our community, we are excited to announce our first-ever Youth-Led Wellness Grant Application. Detroit youth—with help from the adults who work with them—can apply for up to $20,000 to fund their own wellness projects.

 Our goal is to support a variety of wellness projects that centers young people’s ingenuity and creativity and give them the funding they need to bring their projects to fruition.

The brief application can be found here and applications are due by Friday, May 27.

If you want to work on your application before submitting, we have provided both a Microsoft Word and PDF worksheet for your use.

For more information on the opportunity and application guidelines, click here.

This is a new venture for us, and a learning opportunity to determine how to best empower youth through grantmaking. We welcome any questions or suggestions you have about the process.

Funding to support this program comes from the Wellness Works initiative, a dedication of $3 million in funding toward wellness programs and activities for Detroit kids and the adults who champion them. This initiative was made possible in part by 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. 

Lindsey Barrett

Lindsey Barrett is a partnership manager of Ground Building with The Skillman Foundation. She leads the Foundation’s efforts to build power with Detroit youth.

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