Youth Grantmakers Select Baltimore Funding Recipients

Posted June 10, 2024
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
A group of Black and Brown young people gather for a photo in a casual, indoor setting. Behind them is a sign that reads, “Impact Hub.”

Baltimore’s Promise, a city­wide pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ship, announced the sec­ond cohort of its Youth Grant­mak­ers Ini­tia­tive, award­ing eight grants total­ing $500,000. Led by 10 Bal­ti­more City youths ages 16 to 24, the project allows them to make non­prof­it fund­ing deci­sions for non­prof­it projects that ben­e­fit their peers.

Oth­er ben­e­fits of the Youth Grant­mak­ers Ini­tia­tive include:

  • the advance­ment of equi­table work­force and post­sec­ondary employ­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties for youth;
  • ser­vice pro­vi­sion to 370 addi­tion­al youth and young adults through­out Bal­ti­more City; and
  • youth par­tic­i­pa­tion in impor­tant con­ver­sa­tions about allo­cat­ing local resources.

The Annie E. Casey Foun­da­tion is one of the fun­ders of the initiative.

2024 Baltimore’s Promise Grantees

The 2024 grants pack­age, A Promise II BMORE: BMORE on Pur­pose,” focus­es on equi­table employ­ment, train­ing and career expo­sure pro­grams for young peo­ple enter­ing the work­force. The grantees include:

  • B‑360 Bal­ti­more , through its STEM Work­force Devel­op­ment and Diver­sion Pro­gram, will fund 155 career train­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties in bike engineering.
  • Code in the Schools will pro­vide 10 stu­dents with expe­ri­ence in com­put­er sci­ence through its Data­Trail course, which con­nects par­tic­i­pants with train­ing, paid intern­ships and job search assistance.
  • Dance & BMore Pro­grams will enable 15 young peo­ple to receive train­ing focused on dance, sound tech and the­ater production.
  • Elocin Glob­al Logis­tics, through its EGL Pre-Appren­tice­ship Train­ing Pro­gram, will give 22 young adults the oppor­tu­ni­ty to earn com­mer­cial driver’s licens­es and be placed in jobs.
  • Inher­i­tance Acad­e­my will pro­vide 20 young adults will receive sup­port for state cre­den­tial­ing in child care, col­lege entry and lead­er­ship train­ing, as well as a job offer upon com­ple­tion of the program.
  • Nat­ur­al Born Cham­pi­ons, through its Men­tor­ship Path­ways pro­gram, will allow 30 par­tic­i­pants to choose an intern­ship path and gain work expe­ri­ence and cer­ti­fi­ca­tions in areas that include CPR/​First Aid, small busi­ness licens­ing and estheti­cian licensing.
  • Phase 3 Train­ing Corp. will pro­vide 30 stu­dents with infor­ma­tion about careers in build­ing or con­struc­tion and OSHA cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, and the stu­dents will receive place­ment with employ­ment part­ners through Phase 3’s Young Builders program.
  • Requity Foun­da­tion will fund 95 spaces in a school-based pro­gram that pro­vides hands-on learn­ing as stu­dents ren­o­vate an aban­doned building.

I was very impressed with the vari­ety of grantees select­ed by this year’s cohort,” said Sara Coop­er, a senior asso­ciate with the Casey Foundation’s Bal­ti­more Civic Site. The Youth Grant­mak­ers Ini­tia­tive not only sup­ports some incred­i­ble career oppor­tu­ni­ties for Baltimore’s young peo­ple, it also pro­vides each of our cohort mem­bers with real world grant-mak­ing experience.”

One Youth Grantmaker’s Experiences

Jaela Mor­ris, who goes by the name Young Elder,” is a mem­ber of the cur­rent Youth Grant­mak­ers cohort. The 22-year-old West Bal­ti­more native majors in social work at Cop­pin State Uni­ver­si­ty. Ini­tial­ly, she was unclear on the idea of youth grant mak­ing. It seemed too tech­ni­cal for me. I couldn’t real­ly wrap my head around it,” said Elder.

Once onboard, Elder found youth grant mak­ing incred­i­bly reward­ing. It was more than just a job,” she said. It meant so much that an orga­ni­za­tion like Baltimore’s Promise was telling us they val­ued our voic­es. I felt safe, I didn’t feel judged for express­ing an opin­ion. Nobody spoke for us, but we always had guid­ance when we need­ed it.”

With­in her cohort, Elder found the grantee selec­tion process sur­pris­ing­ly pow­er­ful and emo­tion­al. Com­ing from pover­ty and liv­ing in Bal­ti­more, I could under­stand the pow­er of the invest­ments we were con­sid­er­ing and what they can mean for orga­ni­za­tions here. It was a very holis­tic process, and we took a lot of fac­tors into consideration.”

Elder’s expe­ri­ences as a youth grant mak­er also allowed her to gain skills that will ben­e­fit her post-col­lege career. I learned so much about advo­ca­cy, bud­get­ing, uti­liz­ing resources and even just how non­prof­its oper­ate,” she said. Any youth in Bal­ti­more could ben­e­fit from this pro­gram. It real­ly made me look at phil­an­thropy through a whole dif­fer­ent lens.”

Learn how the Casey Foun­da­tion is fund­ing sum­mer programs

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