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    BOOST Grant Awards: Round I

    By Kelly Medinger


    Announcing our first round of grant recipients in our Building Opportunities in Out-of-School Time initiative

    Our founders believed that education was the key to success, and that hard work combined with access to the right opportunities opened doors for people to become leaders in their communities.  Our Building Opportunities in Out-of-School Time (BOOST) initiative is an extension of this donor intent and seeks to build opportunities in out-of-school time hours for older disadvantaged youth in Baltimore.


    In short, we believe that kids need committed and caring adults to help them navigate life, and that out-of-school time programs are a great avenue to help build those relationships and help them realize their full potential.


    Through our BOOST initiative, we’d like to see organizations demonstrate significant depth, duration, and reach of informal and formal mentoring relationships between older youth and caring adults.  With those measures, research says in the long-term these youth will experience improved educational outcomes and labor market success, improved decision-making capabilities, and beneficial effects on a number of other well-being variables – all of which point to our founders’ deep-seated value of education, opportunity, and hard work. 


    This year we are pleased to announce our first round of BOOST initiative grants, totaling $355,000 to four organizations in Baltimore. 


    BOOST Awards:  Round I

    • Medical Education Resources Initiative for Teens (MERIT): $140,000 grant over four years ($35,000/year) to support the capacity-building efforts of this organization, which aims to eliminate health care disparities by transforming underrepresented Baltimore City high school students into health care leaders
    • Next One Up: $40,000 grant over two years ($20,000/year) to support the general operations of this organization, which aims to transform the lives of young men in Baltimore City by supporting and advancing their academic, athletic, and social development
    • Sisters Circle: $105,000 grant over three years ($35,000/year) to support the general operations of this organization, which offers long-term mentoring relationships for at-risk girls in Baltimore, empowering them to define success for themselves, make intentional decisions about their futures, and become self-sufficient young women
    • Thread: $70,000 grant over two years ($35,000/year) to support salary expenses of this organization, which engages underperforming high school students in Baltimore City, provides them with a family of committed volunteer mentors, and encourages them to become self-motivated, resilient, and responsible citizens 


    BOOST is a 5-year, $1 million initiative.  Participation is by invitation only.  We look forward to sharing what we learn from this initiative over time. 


    For a complete description of the program, please visit our BOOST initiative webpage.  And to read more about the Foundation’s journey to develop the BOOST initiative, click here.