Introducing The Skillman Visionary Awards

2022 Annual Report

“Who Am I” by Daria Stanley, 20

Our Journey

“Who Am I” by Daria Stanley, 20


We’re the ones
we’ve been
waiting for.

We began 2022 cresting through a time loop somehow. Suddenly the Covid numbers were skyrocketing again, higher in many cases than before. Work and school switched back in time, too. Remote work, remote learning, teachers afraid of exposure in the classroom, students frustrated to be learning at home.

How could we be two years into a pandemic and still standing in what feels like the eye of the storm?

And now, a year later, the pandemic seems to be fading from public consciousness. Some just want to get back to the way things were. But enough of us know that the status quo was not working.

“Eshara” by Rahmyza Muhammad, 18

The world changed

The world changed.

“The Thought” by Dejuan McCurrie, 16

So did we.

The Skillman Foundation has invested in youth and education for more than 60 years. We operate responsively, listening to what’s needed most and looking for the best opportunities to invest and act in the interests of Detroit youth.

From 2017-2022, we worked a strategy dubbed the Opportunity Agenda for Detroit Children (transition grants from this strategy began in 2023). At the start of this timespan, there was a great deal of revival happening in Detroit. We wanted to ensure Detroit youth were prepared for and connected to the economic opportunities it promised. Staying true to our historic lanes, we pursued this by supporting educational equity in the K-12 and afterschool systems as well as onramps to college and career.

Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit. We moved swiftly to alleviate immediate needs, supporting massive community efforts like providing tablets for at-home learning, safe spaces for kids to learn under the careful eye of loving adults, and mental wellness supports for youth and the adults who serve them.

2022 Grantmaking

In 2022, we began sunsetting a grantmaking strategy named the Opportunity Agenda for Detroit Children.

Grants supported efforts that provided Detroit children and youth with equitable opportunities to learn and to lead, falling under three areas: K-12 education, the afterschool system, and college and career pathways.

K-12 Education


29 grants supported:

Recruitment and development of racially diverse educators and principal wellness

Student attendance efforts

Classroom instruction and interventions

Out-of-school literacy programs

K-12 policy and advocacy

Afterschool System


75 grants supported:

Advocacy for increased investment in the afterschool system

Afterschool and summer programs for Detroit youth

Capacity building across the afterschool system and for individual organizations

College & Career Pathways


90 grants supported:

Youth employment and career readiness

College access and preparation

Youth leadership and voice; young people’s ability to be change agents

Other Grants

Enabling Communities


17 grants
Fostering leaders at every level—in schools, neighborhoods, city, region, and state—who are committed to working alongside others toward youth-centered education systems change. We supported community leadership, research and data about Detroit/youth well-being, and public policy and advocacy for child well-being.

President’s Discretionary


103 grants
A $1M annual fund for small, one-time grants that support 501c3 nonprofits and public entities that serve Detroit youth but fall outside The Skillman Foundation’s grantmaking priorities. $305k of this was directed by our President’s Youth Council.

Legacy Grants


5 grants



77 grants (matching gifts, memberships)

Total 2022 Grantmaking
Grants paid in 2022


396 grants

View all grant details here, searchable by year and category.

Our grantmaking areas are changing. For the most up-to-date information about The Skillman Foundation’s grantmaking, visit our grants page.

2022 Financial

“JOYFUL” by Michael Isaiah Johnson, 21

Annual Report

On This Page

In order of appearance

“Who Am I” by Daria Stanley (@ladysimone_d), 20, Illustrator and Photoshop collage

“Eshara” by Rahmyza Muhammad (@rahmyzas_gallery), 18, photography

“The Thought” by Dejuan McCurrie (@shamarshots_), 16, digital photography

“JOYFUL” by Michael Isaiah Johnson (@originalbluboi, @michael_wasnotfound), 21, poster design

On Linked Pages

In order of appearance

“Self Love, The Best Love” by James Alexander (@jaydachon), 25, pen and marker on bristol

“Build New Things” by Dylan Key, 11, mixed media

“Youth Power” by Miranda Kyle (@cupcakebombb), 25, digital illustration

Design and Development by Meliora Creative

The Skillman Foundation

The Skillman Foundation is a grantmaking organization established in 1960 by Rose Skillman. We have granted out more than $730 million and have served as a vocal advocate to strengthen K-12 education, afterschool programming, child-centered neighborhoods, youth and community leadership, and racial equity and justice.

We are in the process of developing a new strategic framework, co-designed with Detroit youth and their champions.