GSD Grant Recipients
As part of our overall effort to serve young men and women from high risk environments, GSD has provided grants for hundreds of charitable organizations devoted to helping children through sports and education. A small sampling of recipients is listed below.
A Place Called Home
A Place Called Home (APCH) began in 1993 and since then has served more than 4,800 children. APCH is open 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year and serves the surrounding areas of South Central Los Angeles. Presently, an average of 300 youth come through APCH's doors every day.
APCH provides at-risk youth (ages 9-20) with a secure, positive family environment where they can regain hope and belief, earn trust and self-respect and learn skills that lead to a productive lifestyle free of the gangs, drugs and poverty that surround them.
Four specific objectives are behind all the programming at APCH: (1) to increase the likelihood that youth will remain in school and graduate; (2) to increase each participating youth's capacity for positive, non-prejudicial and nonviolent interaction with peers, teachers, other adults, and family members; (3) to reduce drug and alcohol use among youth participants; and (4) to ensure that participating youth do not engage in criminal behavior or gang activity.
JFA funds are being used to support the Positive Energy Program (sports program), including coaching fees, shoes and uniforms, transportation, and league and referee fees.
The sports program consists of activities within the center's family room as well as outdoors on the playground and recently renovated basketball court. The sports program serves more than 150 youth annually at year-round clinics in basketball and soccer which is open to all ages and all levels of skill. The most talented players are recruited to play on league teams.
In addition, 16 children from APCH attended The Baron Davis Basketball Camp at Santa Monica College for the second year in a row. Professional Basketball payers taught the fundamental skills of basketball during a weeklong camp.
JFA funds enable APCH through the Positive Energy Program to continue to build bridges between the dreams and hopes of South Central Los Angeles youth and their futures.
Childhelp USA is a non-profit organization dedicated to meeting the physical, emotional, educational and spiritual needs of abused and neglected children by focusing efforts and resources in the areas of treatment, prevention and research.
Childhelp has provided 141,292 children and adults abuse-related, direct services. Childhelp achieves these goals through its 3 long-term residential treatment centers, advocacy centers, two mobile advocacy centers for rural areas, the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline, community outreach and professional training programs, as well as selection and certification of foster homes.
JFA funds are being used for the Equine Therapy program at the Childhelp USA Merv Griffin Village of Arizona which opened in June 2002 and provides Level 1 and Level 2 residential treatment and care for Arizona children ages 3-14 who suffer the effects of severe abuse or neglect. Funds will be used to purchase a horse trailer, new riding helmets and boots, and new tack and grooming equipment. This updated equipment will help the severely abused and neglected children served by the program to participate in recreational and therapeutic horseback riding with enhanced safety and enjoyment.
The Equine Therapy Program is based on the ideal that the horse can be an incredible teacher and healer for children that have suffered from severe abuse and neglect. The Equine Therapy Program at the village consists of a wide variety of ongoing activities that contribute to the treatment and emotional growth of the children. The program is based on a similar program that has been in place since the early 1980s at the Village of Childhelp West in Beaumont, California.
The program includes both recreational and therapeutic horseback riding. Each child receives training in basic horsemanship and participates in trail rides, rodeos, roping contests — regardless of age or physical ability. Through the equine-assisted psychotherapy, children participate in riding exercises designed to help them work through emotional issues that have manifested in negative behavior patterns.
Children are expected to assist with the horses' care, and are taught basic veterinary skills, feeding requirements, and proper care of tack. Children also participate in weekly trail rides through the Rough Rider's Club. During these trail rides, children interact with each other and develop and refine team building and communication skills. At the end of each semester, the children take part in a horse show to demonstrate the skills they have learned. Their sense of accomplishment may be their first experience of creating success in their lives.
Girls For Gender Equity in Sports
Girls for Gender Equity in Sports (GGES) is committed to improving the physical, psychological, social and economic development of girls and women. Through education, organizing, and physical fitness, GGES encourages communities to remove barriers and create opportunities for girls and women to live self-determined lives.
GGES provides health education workshops, support groups and sports opportunities for girls (ages 7-14) in the low income areas of Brooklyn. GGES has implemented the Go Girl Go Project curriculum in local schools that have been among the most lacking in vital resources for girls to develop positive health behaviors, and build inner strength, good self-worth, positive self-esteem and a sense of safety.
GGES's long-range goal is to expand the sports offered and empowerment work using the Go Girl Go Project and the Game Face Life Lessons curriculum throughout low-income neighborhoods of New York City where girls exhibit risk behaviors that threaten their health and social advancement.
GGES carries out its mission through two programs which JFA funds are beings used to support:
The Equity in Sports Program educates and organizes parents, schools, and the community around Title IX of the Education Amendment. GGES coordinates after school sports leagues and tutoring for girls and promotes teenage and adult role models as coaches and tutors.
The Girls Health Initiative Program organizes and educates parents and girls around the safety and health needs of girls in our communities. This program is for all girls, adolescents, women and men participating in the GGES sports leagues. This program links with local hospitals and community based health experts to deliver health workshops that address two major health problems: 1. Obesity, diabetes, and nutrition; and 2. HIV/AIDS, puberty and sex education.
The Girls Health Initiative Program also implements the Go Girl Go Project. This Project addresses various areas of concern for girls: overall peer pressure(s) of drug, alcohol and cigarette abuse; builds team cohesiveness, builds girls' self-esteem by providing a safe forum where girls can voice their experiences; and promotes awareness and reduces risk behaviors that threaten the health and social advancement of girls.
Girls who participate in the GGES programs are required to maintain a 75% average and receive mandatory tutoring if their average falls below 75%. The girls that need tutoring receive it from youth workers employed by the Beacon program. The girls benefit from women and men coaches who serve as role models and mentors for the girls.
GGES regularly invites athletes and professionals and encourages them to mentor the girls, give pep talks, and share their athletic, academic and other positive life experiences with the girls which models ability, self confidence, and achievement to the girls.
GGES also annually hosts the communities "only" Mother/Daughter Health and Play Days, where mothers and daughters get the opportunity to play sports and hear from certified health educators, health insurance providers, and physicians.
Heart of Los Angeles Youth
Heart of Los Angeles Youth (HOLA) opened in 1989 with 5 kids and through extraordinary commitment and effort has expanded to currently serve over 1,300 youth living in the Rampart District of Los Angeles.
HOLA's programs are organized into the following departments: Athletics and Outdoor Activities, Arts and Culture, Computer Learning Center, HOLA Bridges middle school program, and Rights of Passage Encounter (ROPE) high school program. The Athletics and Outdoor Activities was the genesis of youth development programming at HOLA and has drawn thousands of young people into the center. The program serves as a springboard for positive transformation within HOLA's community.
HOLA offers a multi-cultural center for underprivileged, school age youth through which they find realistic alternatives to drugs and gang lifestyles. They offer programs year-round in fine arts, education, athletics and job placement enabling the participants to create a brighter future for themselves and their community. HOLA has also become increasingly sensitive to the need for athletic opportunities for young women. Teenage female athletes are less likely to use illicit drugs, less likely to be suicidal, less likely to smoke and half as likely to get pregnant than female non-athletes.
JFA funds are being used to support over 800 underserved youth with opportunities to learn a variety of sports, to participate in healthy competition, and to set and achieve their life goals. The primary goals of the Athletic and Outdoor Activity Program are: (1) to assist in the physical, social and emotional development of its youth, and (2) to teach students the discipline they need to succeed by working to acquire athletic skills, and practicing good sportsmanship. These goals guide its programming with sensitivity to issues that impact participants' social development, such as positive self-image, teaching healthy eating habits, and preventing negative behavior like drug abuse and violence.
Hoop Dreams Scholarship Fund
Hoop Dream Scholarship Fund (HDSF) was founded in 1996 by Susie Kay, a teacher of American government at H.D. Woodson High School, an inner-city public high school in Washington, D.C. Ms. Kay saw many of her outstanding students denied an opportunity to pursue their dream of a college education so she organized the first Hoop Dreams 3-on-3 Charity Basketball Tournament to raise money for scholarships and challenge racial and socio-economic stereotypes. In that first year, Ms. Kay pitted teams of African American students against white and black business professionals, including congressmen, entrepreneurs, and sports celebrities in games of 3-on-3. This created scholarship funds as well as numerous offers of internships and jobs.
HDSF works to create relationships, build networks and provide resources that: (1) empower and support the inner-city DC public students to find their best pathways to post-secondary education, a career and an enriched life; (2) bu ild bridges of understanding and collaboration between diverse communities in the metropolitan Washington DC region; and (3) promote an on-going commitment to community responsibility and a lasting spirit among students, volunteers, supporters, and all involved.
HDSF supports college-access focused youth development programming for inner-city youth. HDSF year-round activities include mentoring, SAT preparatory training, scholarship administration, internship placements, community building events, and post-secondary supports.
Many of the students in the scholarship program are the first in their families to attend college. HDSF also provides additional support, because students can become overwhelmed by the academic, social, and logistical demands of college life. To date, Hoop Dreams boasts 45 recent college graduates, many of whom are returning to the program as mentors, peer advisors, and volunteers.
While the main outcome of these projects include a number of college graduates, higher GPAs, and successful internship experiences, there are other tangible results which are equally as important-- improved self-esteem, a sense of possibility and hope for the future, eradication of radial and class stereotypes, and an increased understanding of civic responsibilities.
Ongoing programs include:
- Academic scholarships
- SAT preparedness
- Community building and fundraising events
- Community service/Service-learning
- Ongoing support
JFA funds are being used to support HDSF's college-access focused youth development programming for inner-city youth and to help make possible the Hoop Dreams Playmakers. The program will provide 75 inner-city high school students with the guidance and resources so that they may access higher education and improve their outlook for the future.
Ice Hockey in Harlem
Ice Hockey in Harlem's (IHIH) mission is to provide, at no cost, educational, recreational and social services to children from ages 4-17. IHIH is located in East Harlem, and has developed partnerships with several social service agencies such as Boy's Club, schools, and community centers in East, West and Central Harlem. These partnerships allow IHIH to serve over 200 children in the Harlem and Bronx communities.
IHIH's objective is to provide Harlem youth with immediate access to the staff and volunteers who provide guidance and counseling to the children and their families leading to better education, leadership and career opportunities. These relationships can also provide them with access to social services, mentor relationships, instruction in important life skills and opportunities for improved educational welfare.
IHIH has had great success so far with its Girls Hockey Team. The hockey team will be used as a vehicle to enhance the girls' sense of strength and independence as female stakeholders in society. Researchers and IHIH believe that girls who participate in team sports are more likely to demonstrate increased confidence, self-esteem and pride in their physical and social well being, in addition to self-awareness in a culturally diverse world.
The mandatory classroom sessions use hockey as a basis to explore other academic areas such as math, literacy, writing, geography, social studies and history. On the ice, teamwork, social skills and responsibility are emphasized. One main feature of the program for IHIH's oldest participants is that besides the marked increase in ice time and competitive opportunities, a community service component becomes the focus of their IHIH experience -- IHIH is stressing the importance of contributing back to their community. Members of the Harlem Rangers (name of IHIH's team) are required to take part in over eight community service events. Once participants have reached the age of 12 and have had two years in the program, they are invited to be part of the Harlem Rangers Program (home to both Bantam and Midget teams). This involvement provides participants with a foundation of consistency and structure that is important for those going through their teenage years.
Each year, ten participants of the Harlem Rangers are also selected to be beneficiaries of an IHIH school scholarship and are given the opportunity to attend a private and parochial school that might not be otherwise possible due to financial restraints. Families interested in applying for the IHIH scholarship are required to meet with the interns throughout the application process. These meetings help families to identify private schools and colleges best suited for the applicant's academic and social needs.
JFA funds are being used towards implementing a tutoring program during the academic year. The program begins in the summer after report cards from the previous year have been collected. All report cards are to be reviewed and an educational plan will be designed for each team member prior of the start of the academic year. This plan will be designed by the Executive Director and the Educational Coordinator. For those who have a history of failing classes the previous spring semester, tutoring in the fall will be mandatory if they wish to be part of the Harlem Rangers program. Throughout the year, meetings with parents and schools will be used to identify those new participants who are struggling. For those that qualify, tutoring will be offered to them based on availability.
In line with the tutoring program, all Bantam and Midget participants will be invited to take part in a series of job training workshops that will help prepare them for life after high school.
Night Basketball and Books
Night Basketball and Books ("NBAB") mission is to assist in a complete Saturday program for low-income youth and is the only one of its kind currently operating and targeting the population of Pasadena & Altadena. NBAB's mission is to assist at-risk children, youth and young adults in Pasadena & Altadena by providing a safe, caring place and an environment in which they can acquire the tools to achieve self-sufficiency.
The NBAB program was founded in 1994 in response to the 1993 Halloween homicides of three Pasadena teenage boys. This tragic event immediately caused the community to try to provide alternatives for at-risk youth spending idle time on the streets.
The NBAB programs have been successful violence prevention programs (zero-violence-related injuries or deaths.) NBAB has motivated the youth to graduate high school (80% of NBAB youth graduate from high-school on time and transition to community college settings) and broaden social and cultural awareness (100% of the enrolled youth stated that NBAB provided opportunities not available at home or school.)
Through collaboration with Woodrow Wilson Middle School and Y.E.S. (Youth, Education, and Sports), Sports Club, Night Basketball and Books has been accomplishing its goal through the provision of academic and life skills classes, sports competition, art expression, and community and cultural awareness events to over 100 youth each year. Its collaboration with Y.E.S. and Sport Club and Kids in Sports provides the youth the opportunity to participate in a rotation of sports including volleyball, soccer, flag football, baseball and basketball.
With the generous support JFA funds during these last few years, NBAB enrollment has increased and this year has risen from 75 to 100 youth. JFAs funds have also been used to keep the program free of any charges or fees-including all transportation and meals. The program is in session every Saturday with the exception of holiday weeks and the month of August when the youth go to summer camp. The program now includes these areas of focus: (1) academic enrichment; (2) athletic development; (3) cultural exposure; and (4) creative arts expression.
NBAB has also started offering one-on-one tutoring for low-income middle and high school youth. Starting in Fall 2004, individual tutoring will be the focus of the NBAB academic program.
NBAB sends a clear message to these vulnerable children that their futures matter and that they deserve help in developing productive and satisfying lives. NBAB has been successful in keeping youth away from drugs, gangs and violence, reducing teenage pregnancy, and matriculating youth from high school to college.
Outdoor Explorations (OE) began in 1991 and its mission is to provide outdoor education and leadership development programs to teenagers throughout Greater Boston. About half of its participants have disabilities, including physical, cognitive, sensory, emotional and multiple disabilities, as well as those without disabilities. Because OE believes that all people, regardless of economic status, should have access to the freedom, beauty, and life-changing power of the outdoors, OE focuses its efforts on those communities that rarely have access to the wilderness.
A child (with or without a disability) may never learn that many individuals with disabilities are perfectly able to hike, bike, sail, swim and kayak. As a result, youth with disabilities are often excluded from community activities.
OE's trips are designed for a variety of ages and groups to come out and enjoy one day or multi-day adventures ranging from adventures with activities such as whitewater rafting, kayaking, cycling, rocks and ropes, sailing, backpacking, snowshoeing and camping [regardless of skill].
OE's goal is to create opportunities for people with disabilities to participate fully in outdoor recreation activities; break down barriers and dispel stereotypes that perpetuate isolation among people with disabilities; and build communication skills, self-confidence, and leadership abilities in all people by offering activities designed to challenge individuals to realize their individual potential.
JFA funds are being used to support OE's Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) which targets youth ages 8-20, with and without disabilities. The majority of participants are between 14 - 17 years old and sometimes YEP allows a few older participants (up to 22 years old) to attend if they have cognitive disabilities that make a teen program more appropriate than an adult program. YEP helps youth learn social, leadership and team-building skills, through hands-on, experiential education and adventure programs and activities.
Rocking the Boat
Rocking the Boat (RTB) is an after-school boatbuilding and environmental education program for neighborhood children in the Southwest Bronx area. In 1998, Adam Green brought the program idea to the New Settlement Apartments in the area, and now has a fully sustainable independent non-profit corporation based out of a storefront in the Bronx.
RTB program allows students to acquire practical, academic, and social skills in a wonderful way -- they create a boat which bridges the urban and natural life within their neighborhoods. The students gain a deeper awareness of the relationship to the natural resources in the surrounding land and rivers by their frequent trips throughout New York City and its environs, on land and by water. The program also makes them aware of environmental action projects.
RTB's Rocking the Boat On-Water Education encompasses two programs designed to increase community use, access, and understanding of the Bronx River: The Bronx River On-Water Program and The Community Environmental Education Program. These educational programs allow youth to develop the skills needed to use traditional wooden boats to explore and restore the Bronx River.
Young people are drawn from throughout the Bronx, as well as from the local Mount Eden neighborhood and the RTB program fills a gaping hole in the educational and social experiences of the teenagers that it serves.
RTB now runs two boatbuilding programs a year which coordinate with the fall and spring academic semesters [each with 16 high school students and five former student Apprentices] and one summer program, which include rowing and swimming education as well as on-water and land-based environmental education programs, and mast making, sail making, and on-water sailing workshops.
Students take part in a 4-month program in which they build a 14-17 foot wooden boat from scratch and then sail it in the rivers around the Bronx. The program helps teenagers apply math, carpentry, and organization skills, as well as practice problem solving and teamwork. All of these skills are applicable to the working world.
The seven-week summer program has varied in focus from summer to summer. During the 2004 summer, RTB took on a new project in conjunction with Philipsburg Manor, a living history museum operated by Historic Hudson Valley.
During this program, 8 students, 3 apprentices and 2 staff traveled to the Philipsburg Manor in Sleepy Hollow, NY and built a traditional wooden boat as an active exhibit at the museum. They wore traditional period costume, used traditional period hand tools, and acted as interpreters both through building a boat that would have been used at the time and through interacting with the visitors and explaining their roles as craftspeople and artisans in the context of 1750 Hudson Valley life.
Each semester, RTB also has an Apprenticeship program which hires 11 former students as Boatbuilding and On-water Apprentices, as well as one Photography Apprentice. These staff people are responsible for a great deal of the organization's educational work. They help to run each boatbuilding and on-water education class, organize and facilitate the trips, and help recruit students for new classes, and most importantly, act to create role models within the organization.
From out of the Apprenticeship Program, a new Job Training Program was conceived. Those Apprentices more focused on learning a trade will work during the school day with a RTB master boatbuilder to maintain all the RTB facilities: the entire fleet of boats, and take on some other contract work, as time allows. They will develop professional level skills in traditional wooden boatbuilding, as well as other related trades, and will more importantly develop professional work habits and ethics. They will also receive extensive personal money management training. This process may be used as the heart of a small business entrepreneurial program, allowing these young people to take part in the management of a business, from the marketing, to the creating, to the financial management of a product.
The continued goal of RTB is for students to use it as a platform to take off from--to explore the incredible opportunities available in both traditional and non-traditional areas of work and education.
JFA funds are being used to support general operating expenses (i.e., five full-time staff members, instructor salaries, student apprentices, materials and insurance, etc.).
Students Run L.A.
Students Run L.A. (SRLA) is an organization whose mission is to enable students from all ethnicities, cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds to realize their potential, enhance their self-esteem and plot their futures by providing them with a life changing experience-training for and completing the 26.2 mile L.A. Marathon. SRLA achieves this goal by providing over 300 volunteer teacher/leaders who assist more than 2600+ students from 150 middle and high schools, continuation schools and community programs throughout Greater Los Angeles, and also extending into Orange County and Riverside County.
Over 98% of the SRLA students complete the Marathon, and over 95% of SRLA seniors graduated from high school this June. (This compares with a graduation rate of 65% in the L.A. Unified School District).
The SRLA training program runs from September through June for youths ages 12 to 19 . Over the first five months, students will train before and after school with their leaders and groups. Students will attend seven community training runs — including two half marathons and a 30 K race. In March, the students will enter and complete The City of Los Angeles Marathon. During April through July, 2005, the students will continue to train and enter four more community races.
The training enables students to realize improved self-esteem, physical fitness and well being, improve their nutrition and eating habits, reduce their use of drugs, alcohol and tobacco and decrease truancy.
JFA funds are being used to support 35 students participating in the program for the 2004-2005 season and provide a package of basic equipment and services for each student so they can safely participate in SRLA's ten-month training and playmakers.
Wings of America
The Earth Circle Foundation, Inc. was founded in 1987 in Santa Fe, New Mexico and Wings of America (WOA) was established in 1988. WOA is the sole program of the Earth Circle Foundation.
In partnership with Native communities, WOA uses running as a catalyst to empower American Indian and Alaskan Native youth to take pride in them selves and their cultural identity, leading to positive self-esteem, leadership and hope, health and wellness, balance and harmony.
The American Indian culture has used running as an integral part of its culture for thousands of years — both ceremonial and spiritual. WOA has used running to empower young men and women to succeed in their educational and athletic achievements.
Presently many of our Native youths are "at risk". Indian Tribes are challenged daily in many aspects of their life — they have seen social changes such as human struggle; loss of cultural identity; poor health; alcohol and drug abuse; school dropout, as well as high rates of teen suicide; drug use; gang membership and poor economic conditions.
JFA funds are being used towards the American Indian Running Clinic which works with Native youth throughout the country. This clinic offers an avenue to reach children in need of youth development support during their academic school year. The coaches and community members act as "role models" through their sport activities, as well as in the academic arena. The presenters include Olympians and prominent athletic, coaches, sports physicians, and running club directors. These individuals share their expertise, life stores and personal achievements. This program underscores mentoring and the importance of sharing knowledge.