Assets for Life

Ken Sipes, TNCF board chair, Michelle Gilliard, senior director of Giving, The Walmart Foundation, and Jeannette Pai-Espinosa, TNCF president

The Walmart Foundation has awarded The National Crittenton Foundation a $2 million capacity-building  grant.

The majority of the grant funds will be dispersed to members of the Crittenton family of agencies across the country who have programs that address the areas that the grant supports: nutrition, academic achievement and job readiness/career development for girls and young women. The re-grant awards range from $60,000-$119,000.

“The National Crittenton Foundation and its family of agencies have been providing critical services to girls and young women for more than 128 years. The depth of the work and the impact it has had on supporting girls and young women overcome obstacles and create productive, rich lives for themselves is powerful,” said Michelle Gilliard, senior director of giving at the Walmart Foundation.

Assets for Life will help agencies build on their existing work to support marginalized girls and young women in the areas of nutrition, academic achievement, job readiness and career development. Assets for Life will provide opportunities for girls and young women ages 12-24 to develop the building blocks that they will need to break the intergenerational cycles of destructive behaviors and to thrive. The building blocks include: positive self-esteem; physical health; academic achievement; and job and career paths to secure stable living wage jobs.

Prior to applying to receive funding, leadership from the 26 members of the Crittenton family of agencies convened to shape the effort and to hear directly from girls and young women living at the margin to learn about their unmet needs related to nutrition, completing their education and getting a job or planning for a career.

The grants are being awarded to 20 agencies, including one in Portland, Oregon where The National Crittenton Foundation is headquartered. “We are thrilled to receive funds to start our ‘farm to fork effort.’ In Portland,
there is a strong focus on local and organic food. We have been looking for opportunities to bring healthier food to  young women but until now the money has not been available for such an effort. We can’t wait to break ground on our garden and plant some winter vegetables,” said Diane Brandsma, executive director of The Salvation Army, White Shield Center in Portland, Oregon.

The grants will support programs in the following locations:

  • Phoenix, Arizona: Florence Crittenton of Arizona to expand its academic support services.
  • Southern California: Crittenton Services for Children and Families to fund its “Power Up” project to create a community garden and incorporate healthy cooking classes and exercise.
  • Denver, Colorado: Florence Crittenton Services of Colorado to enhance its academic achievement and career development services.
  • Jacksonville and West Palm Beach, Florida: Children’s Home Society of Florida to provide job
    readiness and career development that includes offering a job coach on location.
  • Atlanta, Georgia: Families First to provide ongoing comprehensive academic support services to girls and young women in their three residential programs.
  • Topeka, Kansas: Florence Crittenton Services of Topeka, Inc. to start a holistic wellness program that involves nutrition, fitness and body and mind wellness.
  • Sioux City, Iowa: Crittenton Center to start “Breaking Barriers: Dreaming Big” to support girls and young women attain a high school diploma, GED or college degree.
  • Lexington, Kentucky: Florence Crittenton Home and Services, Inc. to enhance the provision of academic
    support services.
  • Kansas City, Missouri: St. Luke’s Health System, Crittenton Children’s Center to grow its “Project Potential” work in areas of academic readiness and achievement, job readiness and career development
    and exploration.
  • Jackson, Mississippi: Mississippi Children’s Home Service to provide skill development, job readiness and employment support to young women in transitional living programs.
  • Helena, Montana: Florence Crittenton Home and Services to support academic and career development services, including the incorporation of “Today, Tomorrow and Forever: My Life Planner” and
    classes on cooking and how to shop for healthy food on a budget.
  • New York City, New York: Inwood House to support“Inwood House Academy’s” educational
    services; “Preparing Youth for Adulthood,” a job readiness/career development program; and “Healthy Beginnings”, a nutrition education and culinary arts program.
  • Charlotte, North Carolina: Florence Crittenton Services to expand its existing nutrition program and to create a vegetable garden to bring healthy food to girls and young women.
  • Portland, Oregon: The Salvation Army, White Shield Center to start a “farm to fork” effort that includes a community garden and cooking classes. Plus job readiness and career development support efforts to
    prepare girls and young women for independence in conjunction with “Today, Tomorrow and Forever: My Life Planner.”
  • Charleston, South Carolina: Florence Crittenton Programs of South Carolina to increase job readiness and career development services for girls and young women in its residential program, including the use of
    “Pathways to Success” career path assessment tool.
  • Chatanooga, Tennessee Partnership for Families, Children and Adults. to support “Career Quest,” its job development and career services program and to institute “Today, Tomorrow and Forever: My Life Planner.”
  • Knoxville, Tennessee Florence Crittenton Agency to expand its job readiness and career development services offerings, including a 12-week Independent Living Skills curriculum.
  • Houston, Texas: Depelchin Children’s Center to incorporate the use of “Today, Tomorrow and Forever: My Life Planner” to help the modern teen girl set goals in education, career and life.
  • Washington, D.C.: Crittenton Services of Greater Washington to expand the use of “Today, Tomorrow and Forever: My Life Planner” to help the modern teen girl set goals in education, career and life.
  • Wheeling, West Virginia: Crittenton Services to increase access to the Pathways program to help girls and young women alternative education and GED classes onsite.

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