We Raise Foundation Awards Two Emerging Leader Grants

We Raise Foundation Awards Two Emerging Leader Grants

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We Raise Foundation recently awarded two Emerging Leader Grants totaling $30,000. Emerging Leader Grants are an investment in the development of leaders between the ages of 20-35 at Christian organizations who are leading new programs at the intersection of poverty, violence, and inequality.

Each Emerging Leader Grantee receives $15,000 over two years with $10,000 supporting the program and $5,000 supporting leadership development. This leadership development includes attendance at a Leadership Fundamentals conference through The Center for Creative Leadership; attendance at the Global Leadership Summit through satellite locations; and individualized leadership coaching. Grantees also receive an invitation to attend the Emerging Leader Convening in Chicago, hosted and paid for by We Raise Foundation; and promotion and networking within the We Raise community.

For more information regarding the Emerging Leader Grant program, please visit the website at weraise.org/emergingleadergrants.

The newest Emerging Leader Grant recipients are:

Allison KilleenAllison Killeen
Safe Families for Children
Lutheran Community Services Northwest, McMinnville, Ore

Leader Profile:
Allison Killeen has been a member of the Safe Families for Children staff for the past year. Prior to that, she volunteered for Safe Families as a mentor for three children whose mother was overcoming homelessness and domestic violence. As a mentor, Allison bonded with the children and became deeply committed to the mission of SFFC. A graduate of George Fox University, Newberg, Ore., with a bachelor’s degree in organizational communication, Allison completed an internship with All God’s Children International where she served as a case manager for families adopting internationally from the Philippines and Bulgaria. She also interned for Christian Alliance for Orphans and helped plan their annual Summit, where thousands of leaders, families, and individuals gathered to become empowered and encouraged to serve the vulnerable through foster care, adoption, and Safe Families.

Project Summary:
Safe Families for Children (SFFC) supports families in crisis with a caring and compassionate community by providing respite and family support ranging from hosting children for months at a time to mentoring parents through some of the toughest challenges of their lives, such as recovering from chemical dependency, completing a jail sentence, or escaping domestic violence. The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically increased stress on at-risk families and SFFC has responded by increasing volunteer recruits to partner with food banks and churches in order to address a critical pandemic stressor: extreme food insecurity. The grant will fund critical growth, which will keep an increasing number of the community’s children safe and their families together. Their goal this year is to serve 50 individuals by hosting 24 children and provide respite and mentorship for 26 parents. This will reduce the number of children entering the foster care system by 20% in the county, producing a state cost savings of $324,000.

Sharalle RichardsonSharalle Richardson
Bridge Street Ministries, Grand Rapids, Mich.

Leader Profile:
Sharalle Richardson serves as the director of Bridge Street Ministries’ Resurgence program, which connects local middle school students with supportive after-school programming. Prior to joining the Resurgence team, Richardson worked in education in Grand Rapids, Mich., for seven years at William C. Abney Academy and Success Virtual Learning Center. She is a 2013 graduate of Grand Valley State University, Allendale, Mich., with a degree in English for Secondary Education.

Project Summary:
Resurgence is a Christ-centered, holistic, discipleship after-school program designed to support the spiritual, academic, and social development of under-resourced students on the West Side of Grand Rapids. Offered four days per week throughout the school year, Resurgence Learning Labs give students unique, extra-curricular learning opportunities designed to support their development, and engage them in community betterment initiatives. Four different Learning Labs engage students in activities that emphasize art/music, STEM, and sports/outdoor activities and each lab is led by experts from local colleges and businesses. Each lab also incorporates bible literacy, scripture memorization, positive social interaction, and prayer. In 2020-2021, they will engage 30-50 students in mentoring relationships, and over 200 students in a new drop-in youth center.

About We Raise Foundation
Motivated by the belief that freedom is grace in action (Galatians 5:1a), We Raise Foundation partners with Christian nonprofit organizations and emerging leaders working at the intersection of poverty, violence, and inequality. We have a preference for funding solutions within the areas of education, workforce development, and criminal justice and employ a unique approach to our investing by coupling program funding with a variety of robust value-added services that empower our grantees to grow their solutions. As a result of these value-added services, every $1 that donors invest through We Raise multiplies into more than double the benefit to the organizations we support. To learn more, please visit weraise.org. You can also find We Raise on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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