2016 Grant Recipients
In June 2016, the Beacon group made grants totaling $128,000 to 12 nonprofit organizations.
Behind the Book
Behind the Book, a children's literacy nonprofit, develops intensive literacy programs for NYC public schools that focus on a specific book and are built around direct contact with the author. The organization served 1,454 students in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Manhattan during the 2015-16 school year, and expanded to serve approximately 30% more students in the 2016-17 school year. The program brings authors into schools and works with students on their own writing projects. The Beacon grant provided support to hire an experienced non-profit manager.
Code Interactive is an educational program for high aptitude children in 20 inner city schools (as of 2016). They focus on technical, science and mathematics skills as well as providing internship opportunities in tech companies for these students. The Beacon grant supported the expansion of the program to an additional school.
Eco Station NY
Eco Station NY, an urban farm organization housed at a public high school in Bushwick, is “rooted in social and environmental justice… exploring the intersection of the two through community food and sustainable urban agricultural products.” The Beacon grant contributed to general operating expenses, including an additional farmer/educator to maximize school and community engagement.
Fourth Arts Block
Fourth Arts Block is a Lower East Side (East 4th Street) community arts and culture center serving as an incubator for cultural and arts projects by providing space, marketing and promotional assistance to individual and group artists. The Beacon grant supported the group hiring of a full-time marketing director.
Hudson River Community Sailing
Hudson River Community Sailing develops leadership and academic success in 150 underserved New York City high school students through sailing and boatbuilding. The Beacon grant was for the development of a satellite youth development program in Inwood.
The Knowledge House
The Knowledge House is a coding-based program that aims to build an education to employment pipeline by providing tech education programs and career mentorship to low income youths and young adults, primarily in the Bronx. The Beacon grant helped fund hiring a full-time job placement staff person.
L.O.V.E.: Latinas on the Verge of Excellence
L.O.V.E. supports and empowers young Latinas to strive in all areas of life by providing positive role models. The L.O.V.E. Mentoring Program runs in tandem with the academic year and operates within each partnered high school. Mentors (female university students) and mentees (students referred from partnered schools) participate in weekly 90-minute sessions that constitute a school-based curriculum program consisting of three core components: personal empowerment, study skills, and college access. The sessions are devised to expose mentees to empowering and enriching activities such as exploring and celebrating diverse identities; goal-setting and leadership strategies; healthy lifestyle habits; and academic and study skills. The Beacon grant contributed to the goal of doubling the number of participants (60 as of June 2016).
Not Another Child
Not Another Child, in Brooklyn, was founded by the mother of a young man killed in a gang dispute. The group seeks to counteract the impact of gun violence through workshops. The Beacon grant supported the “Out of the Hood” project which provides site visits to workplaces with the goal of exposing at-risk youth to potential career opportunities.
Reciprocity Foundation, a NY-based foster care organization, works with homeless and foster care youths ages 15-23, through a holistic approach using yoga, meditation and career planning. The Beacon grant supported expansion of intensive weekend retreats in NYC and upstate NY for small groups of youths.
Red Hook Art Project
The Red Hook Art Project organizes local artist and musician volunteers to provide underserved children and young adults in Red Hook, Brooklyn, with free classes as well as homework help. The volunteers mentor students interested in visual arts and music. The Beacon grant supported hiring staff to expand the program.
Refoundry is an innovative new Brooklyn-based non-profit that trains formerly incarcerated people to repurpose discarded materials into home furnishings and accessories, and incubates participants into their own businesses. Sales of goods and services produced in the long-term training program generate revenues that cover up to 50% of the organization's operating costs. The Beacon grant supported four pilot participants in incubating into their own independently-owned businesses.
Voices UnBroken is a Bronx-based non-profit organization dedicated to providing under-heard members of the community – primarily youth, ages 12-24 – with the tools and opportunity for creative self-expression. Activities include high quality creative writing workshops in juvenile justice facilities, group homes, residential treatment facilities, jails, and various other transitional and alternative settings. The Beacon grant will be used to hire artists and increase the number of workshops to expand the reach of the program.