The Vermont Women’s Fund, a component fund of the Vermont Community Foundation, awarded $121,000 through its competitive grant round this spring to 15 organizations working to improve the lives of young women and girls in Vermont. The grants support programs across the state that provide young women and girls ages 12-25 with opportunities to gain financial literacy, job-training skills, mentorship, and experiences that expand their vision for the future.
“The programs we funded this year inspire all of us, as they support young women and girls at such a critical time in their lives,” says Meg Smith, director of the Women’s Fund. “The Vermont Women’s Fund is proud to be able to provide funding and guidance to these nonprofits, as we have done for over twenty years now. And we have our donors to thank as well as those who run these important programs.”
The Vermont Women’s Fund was established in 1994 as an enduring resource to support women and girls throughout Vermont. Since its founding, the Fund has granted more than $2 million to organizations and projects in support of its mission.
Vermont Women’s Fund 2016 Competitive Grants
Boys and Girls Club of Burlington received $10,000 for Reducing the Risk, a program that will enable young women to access basic information regarding reproductive health, safe sex, healthy relationsips, and other related issues guided by UVM medical students and outreach specialists from Lund.
Champlain Valley Area Health Education Center received $8,000 for the MedQuest Health Careers Exploration Program which gives high school students the opportunity to explore health careers through hands-on engagement with healthcare professionals in multiple fields and gain tools to pursue career goals.
Clarina Howard Nichols Center received $5,000 for Rise & Thrive: Leadership Beyond Survival, a leadership and peer educator training program for women survivors ages 12-25. The program promotes confidence-building and leadership for the trainees while creating a network of peer support for other survivors.
Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains received $7,000 for Girls Rock the Capitol, an internship and mentoring program for high school-aged girls who are paired with female state legislators. Once paired, these girls learn about civic engagement, advocacy, public speaking, and female empowerment.
Governor's Institutes of Vermont received $10,000 to help girls from low-income backgrounds attend residential co-ed and single-sex academic and creative learning experiences, which raise confidence, self-esteem, and academic and career aspirations among young women.
HOPE Works received $10,000 to support their 'Stronger Than...' Campaign: Building Resiliency and Life Skills for Girls, which helps young women build resilience in the face of societal messages about their 'inevitable' path into sexual exploitation and other cycles of violence.
Lake Champlain Community Sailing Center received $7,500 for Women in Wind, a program that aims to help young women to become leaders, strong communicators, and scientists through STEM education-based sailing programs.
Lake Champlain Maritime Museum received $10,000 for a credit-bearing water quality assessment project for female high school students who have an interest in water quality and who might otherwise not engage in science and engineering studies.
The Art House received $6,000 for Studio Night Out, a year-long after school arts program for young women that teaches studio arts skills and how to connect those skills to other avenues of life: applying for college or jobs, improving schoolwork, and enriching connections to community.
University of Vermont received $10,000 for Breaking the Grass Ceiling: Tractor Training by Women for Young Women, a UVM Extension project that will deliver three tractor training sessions for 45 young women to improve confidence and knowledge, providing the skills for safe and effective handling of machinery for farming and rural life. This project is in collaboration with Cerridwen Farm and 4-H program.
Vermont Horse-Assisted Therapy received $7,500 for their 2016 Teens at Risk Program, which helps young women to become leaders using patience, perseverance, bravery, teamwork, and creative problem-solving. Through mentors, work opportunities, mounted lessons, workshops, and business classes, participants gain insight into careers in the equine field.
Vermont Parent Representation Center received $5,000 for their Rapid Intervention Pre-Natal/Parenting Project. Pregnant women and mothers of young children receiving medication-assisted treatment for opiate dependency are at risk of losing custody of their children. This project uses trauma-informed supports and skills to help newborns and young children remain safely with their families.
Vermont Works for Women received $10,000 for Step In to Work, a transitional jobs program that equips vulnerable women in Chittenden County with skills to get and keep jobs. Women follow personalized plans to overcome barriers through classroom and on-the-job training.
Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (VYCC) received $10,000 for their Women in Agriculture program. Agriculture is a male-dominated field that can appear inaccessible to young women. Through VYCC's Farm Program, young women are exposed to sustainable agriculture and the deep connections between farming, food, and community.
Youth Services received $5,000 for Peer Mentoring-based Outreach and Education, a program that brings an increased sense of agency and empowerment to young mothers dealing with generational poverty and isolation. Peer outreach and a peer-led young mothers group will encourage the participants to identify skills and to enhance their competency by sharing them with others.