We Raise Foundation Awards Three Emerging Leader Grants

 In Criminal Justice, Education

We Raise Foundation recently awarded three Emerging Leader Grants totaling $45,000. 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:

Aaron Barron
Level Up
StreetCode Academy, East Palo Alto, Calif.

Leader Profile:
Aaron Barron serves as the partnership director at StreetCode Academy, a nonprofit organization in East Palo Alto, Calif., that is bridging the digital divide and empowering communities of color to achieve their full potential by sharing the mindset, skills, and access they need to embrace tech and innovation. As partnership director, Barron develops the strategy and capacity for scaling StreetCode access programs. He is a 2018 graduate of Stanford University, Stanford, Calif., where he received his Bachelor of Science in Biomechanical Engineering. While at Stanford, Barron volunteered with mentorship and teaching programs, including StreetCode Academy. After graduation, he applied to be a teaching intern and has been on the StreetCode staff full-time since 2019.

Project Summary:
StreetCode’s Level Up program is a technology distribution program, providing laptops, mobile hotspots, routers, and free tech education to local students and families who most urgently need access to online learning platforms and opportunities. The COVID-19 pandemic exposed how a lack of access to technology widens the digital divide by limiting family-wide opportunities for advancement. A single home computer cannot serve the needs of a family that is actively engaged with and using technology. In the next growth phase of the Level Up program, an on-demand learning system will be offered to tech recipients to help bolster their digital literacy skills.

Daniel Bell
Social-Emotional Learning Initiative
By The Hand Club For Kids, Chicago, Ill.

Leader Profile:
Daniel Bell is the Social-Emotional Learning Specialist for By The Hand Club For Kids (BTH), Chicago, Ill., a Christ-centered, after-school program that takes kids by the hand and walks with them from kindergarten through college. In this role, he creates and implements a social and emotional learning strategy for all BTH staff and students in addition to counseling students, facilitating individual and group counseling for students, and leading professional development for staff regarding trauma, at-risk students, social, emotional, and behavioral issues. Bell is a 2017 graduate of Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Counseling/Human Services. He holds a Master of Social Work from Michigan State University, East Lansing, Mich. After graduating from Moody, Bell worked as a Prevention Specialist at Catholic Charities of Shiawassee & Genesee Counties, Flint, Mich., and later took on the role as Vice Chair of the Shiawassee Prevention Network.

Project Summary:
By The Hand’s Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Initiative will equip 80 staff members with an enhanced understanding and practice of the five SEL competencies (self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making), so that they will be able to incorporate SEL into their leadership and better facilitate the Second Steps curriculum to 1,200 students. Additionally, 60 students will receive more focused care through individual and group therapy.

Maddi Briguglio
Reforming Reentry
Inside Out Network, Illinois & Arizona

Leader Profile:
Maddi Briguglio started with the Inside Out Network (ION) in August 2020 as an intern and joined the team full-time a few months later as the program manager for its Illinois team. The ION is an interactive online system that connects returning citizens with service providers. As program manager, Briguglio works to build a thriving network and implement the ION platform across Illinois by connecting with service providers, assists the Illinois Department of Corrections with both inmate registration and staff training, and is involved with reentry coalitions and communities. She received her Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice from Arizona State University, Tempe, Ariz., and went on to earn her Master of Arts in Criminal Justice from ASU. During a year off before pursuing her master’s, Briguglio volunteered for the Arizona Department of Corrections and helped host activities for the women incarcerated at Perryville Prison, Goodyear, Ariz.

Project Summary:
An “eHarmony for reentry,” the Inside Out Network (ION) online platform makes it easy for returning citizens and service providers to search, find relevant matches, connect with, and even reach out proactively and message each other. ION has forged partnerships with departments of corrections and launched the platform across in Arizona and Illinois with 3,000 returning citizens and 340 service providers registered and active. Now they are planning to broaden and deepen their engagement in both states, expand to three additional states by the end of 2023, and have 20,000 returning citizens enrolled and 850 service providers who are actively engaging with each other on the platform by that time.

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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