The City Desk: St. Pete Focuses on Its Youth
The City Desk is a monthly column written by and about the city of St. Petersburg. This month, Leah McRae, director of Education and Community Engagement, talks about the city’s focus on youths and invites nonprofits to apply for grants for projects that help at-risk youths. (If other cities in the Tampa Bay area would like a monthly City Desk column, give us a ring or email us at email@example.com.)
By Leah McRae, Esq., director of Education and Community Engagement
Four years ago this month, President Barack Obama challenged communities across the country to create pathways for young people to succeed and the My Brother’s Keeper initiative was born. The core belief behind President Obama’s initiative is this: When we intervene in the key stages of a young person’s life, we can improve their long-term outcomes and ability to contribute to society. He believes cities, towns, non-profits, and private businesses all play a crucial role in building durable support networks for young men of color.
Mayor Rick Kriseman accepted the president’s challenge in 2015. St. Petersburg also expanded the initiative to include young women – My Brother’s and Sister’s Keeper. Faced with a spike in gun related homicides among young black men in the summer of 2016, Mayor Kriseman issued a call to action for the community to come together and help kids stay on track and keep safe from violent crime. The “Not My Son” campaign became the first of four My Brother’s and Sister’s Keeper initiatives. It was followed by the Cohort of Champions and the “Just B U!” Girl’s Summit in the summer of 2017.
Coming off the success of the Cohort of Champion’s first year, this January, the city of St. Petersburg announced the fourth MBSK initiative, the Youth Development Grant Program. The Youth Development Grant Program is designed to help non-profit organizations grow their capacity to serve at-risk youth by offering access needed resources. Funding is available to qualified organizations for projects that range from after-school programs to one-time events. Applicants are eligible to receive anywhere from $1,500 to $25,000.
More than 60 organizations attended the first two information sessions for the Grant Program, demonstrating the overwhelmingly positive response from local organizations willing to serve the youth in our city. The potential impact of these resources will be immeasurable to smaller organizations.
We are focused on the youth in St. Pete, particularly those at-risk. Not only do we want to help, but our goal is to provide real-life training opportunities to build a strong, confident and ready workforce.
What you need to know about the Youth Development Grants:
Final information session: 6 p.m. Thursday (Feb. 15) at the Main St. Petersburg Library, 3745 9th Ave. N. Deadline to apply: 5 p.m. Feb. 23.
Want to join the review committee? We’re looking for eight St. Petersburg residents to review Grant applications. Those interested please email your resume to the Office of the Mayor. The deadline for committee applicants is 5 p.m. Monday (Feb. 12).
For more information about the Youth Development Grant Program and the Youth Development Grant Review Committee visit stpete.org or contact Leah McRae, Esq. at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Main photo shows Deputy Mayor Kanika Tomalin. In-story photo shows Mayor Rick Kriseman. Photos taken from video courtesy of the City of St. Petersburg.
St. Petersburg | Rick Kriseman | Kanika Tomalin | Leah McRae | My Brother’s and Sister’s Keeper | Youths | Grants | Tampabay News
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