The MENTOR Network

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The MENTOR Network’s Charitable Foundation Announces Community Partner Grant Recipients

The MENTOR Network Charitable Foundation is pleased to announce that 6 organizations have recently been awarded grants through the Foundation’s Community Partners program for the fourth quarter of 2014. Community Partners are change agents within human services that are either delivering innovative care or developing new ideas and models for doing so. They are results oriented, leveraging resources and knowledge to positively impact individuals and communities and transform society’s vision of and approach to its most vulnerable members.

Community Partners

Adoption & Foster Care Mentoring (Boston, MA)

AFC Mentors Program

Adoption & Foster Care Mentoring (AFC) exclusively serves Massachusetts youth ages 7 and older who are impacted by foster care. A grant from The MENTOR Network Charitable Foundation will go toward the expansion of AFC Mentors, a program that matches youth in one-to-one mentoring relationships with adult volunteers committed to providing a consistent relationship for at least a year. Matches participate in various activities that encourage social development, and give youth opportunities to learn essential life skills and build strong relationships with their mentors. Funds from The MENTOR Network Charitable Foundation will help make it possible for the AFC Mentor program to double the number of youth served over the next two and a half years.

Encore Studio for the Performing Arts (Madison, WI)

2014-2015 Performing Arts Season

Encore Studio for the Performing Arts is the only professional theater company for people with disabilities in Wisconsin and one of the very few in the United States. Encore offers an innovative, inclusive, and professional environment where all people work together in the pursuit of artistic and theatrical excellence. Since its founding 14 years ago, this groundbreaking theater company has produced over 50 original works to much local, regional, and even national acclaim. It is Encore’s objective not only to provide employment opportunities in the performing arts for people with disabilities but also to use this medium to convey an authentic message about disability and culture. A grant from The MENTOR Network Charitable Foundation will go toward operational program costs for the upcoming season.

Olive Crest (Riverside, CA)

Project Independence

Project Independence is a transitional housing and independent living skills program of Olive Crest for youth who emancipate out of the foster care system. Youth aged 18 to 22 are provided with housing, food, and basic needs to prevent homelessness as they build skills for independent living. Participants also receive case management and counseling, including support completing high school, planning for college/vocational school, getting a job, learning life skills, and building healthy relationships. Funding from The MENTOR Network Charitable Foundation will be used toward the expansion of services in Riverside.

The Cookbook Project, Inc. (Sudbury, MA)

Boston Food Literacy Initiative (BOFLI)

The Cookbook Project (CBP) is an international non-profit organization that empowers youth to be the catalysts for healthier communities through food literacy and cooking education. To achieve this mission, CBP trains local Food Literacy Educators (FLEDs) to lead CBP’s innovative health education curriculum in their community with youth at-risk for chronic lifestyle-related diseases like obesity and diabetes. CBP has partnered with Boston public schools, The Barbara Lynch Foundation, and City Year Boston to implement this program in 4 Boston public elementary schools to teach over 200 children food literacy and cooking skills, which will empower these youth to cook healthy, sustainable food on a budget.

A grant from The MENTOR Network Charitable Foundation will be used to train 56 City Year staff that will be leading CBP programming throughout the year and will include onsite immersion training, curriculum resources, and food and materials funding for programming.

Best Buddies, Inc. (Boston, MA)

Best Buddies Massachusetts Middle School and High School Friendship Project

Best Buddies Massachusetts (BBMA) is dedicated to enhancing the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities by providing opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, and leadership development. Funds from The MENTOR Network Charitable Foundation will be used to support existing Best Buddies chapters at 68 high schools and 25 middle schools in Massachusetts as well as implement 10 new school-based programs throughout Worcester, MA and the surrounding communities during the 2014-2015 academic year.

CO/LAB Theater Group, Inc. (Creative Opportunities without Limits and Boundaries) (Brooklyn, NY)

Spring Theater Classes and Performances for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities

CO/LAB Theater Group is a non-profit dedicated to providing Creative Opportunities without Limits And Boundaries. CO/LAB exists to offer individuals with developmental disabilities a creative and social outlet through theater arts. With the help of a grant from The MENTOR Network Charitable Foundation, CO/LAB will provide 4 free acting and musical theater classes for individuals with developmental disabilities that will culminate in a public performance in the spring of 2015. The intended result of this workshop series is to increase self-awareness, socialization, communication and confidence, so that participants can lead a more fulfilling life outside of the classroom.

For more information, visit the Community Partners section of our Charitable Foundation website.