We Raise Foundation Awards New Emerging Leader Grant

 In Education

We Raise Foundation recently awarded a $15,000 Emerging Leader Grant to Mr. Dan Schmidtke, Bethlehem Lutheran Church, St. Louis, Mo. 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.

Schmidtke 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. Schmidtke also receives an invitation to attend the annual Emerging Leader Convening in Chicago, hosted and paid for by We Raise, and promotion and networking within the We Raise community.

Proposals for the Emerging Leader Grant Program are accepted twice a year. The next deadline is September 30, 2021 with grants awarded in November. For more information regarding grant requests, please visit the website at weraise.org/emergingleadergrants.

The newest Emerging Leader Grant recipient is:

Dan Schmidtke
Bethlehem Basketball Ministry
Bethlehem Lutheran Church,
St. Louis, Mo.

Leader Profile:
Mr. Dan Schmidtke is the head basketball coach for Bethlehem Lutheran Church’s Basketball Ministry and works full-time as a physical therapist assistant. He graduated from Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, Ind., with a degree in exercise science and went on to play four years of semi-professional basketball for the St. Louis Trotters. Schmidtke joined the Bethlehem Basketball Ministry as a volunteer assistant coach for the high school team and was named the head coach for the middle school team in 2015. As head coach, Schmidtke’s main goal is for all of his players to have a better understanding of who Christ is and how faith in Him can change their lives. His secondary goals are to produce productive members of society with steady occupations, family life, and church life, and if a player has exceptional basketball ability, his goal is to prepare them to maximize their talents to play competitively at the high school level and beyond. Schmidtke is married to Amber, who is involved behind the scenes with Bethlehem’s Basketball Ministry, and they have one son, Asher.

Project Summary:
Bethlehem Lutheran Church’s Basketball Ministry has been a pillar in the North Saint Louis community for many years. With the mental and emotional stresses of an urban environment, the Basketball Ministry is a place where youth can feel safe, cared for, and valued. With the grant, Bethlehem will add several basketball camps to its programming. Open to youth ages 5-13, the camps will help players improve their basketball skills and learn life lessons from mentors, professionals, and guest speakers. They plan to utilize a cross-age peer mentoring model where they will train the high school basketball players to help lead the camps.

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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