Blue Mountain Community Foundation recently awarded grants from the First FruitsFund, a component fund of BMCF. As promised we will be announcing recent grant awards over the next few weeks.
The Eighth grantee is…
Blue Mountain Action Council Skill Steps, $10,000
Skill Steps, a program made possible by a partnership between Walla Walla Community College, BMAC, and the Eastern Washington Partnership Workforce Development Council. Skill Steps brings together 18– to 24-year-olds whose education levels prevent them from getting into college courses, but who are motivated to improve themselves and enroll in credit-bearing college programs.
Currently there are twenty-one young adults enrolled in the program. Students belong to a cohort “learning community” which fosters peer support and grows mentors from within the program. This program provides students with individualized intensive advising, mentoring and academic coaching. They also receive targeted instruction in reading, writing, language and math with workplace readiness skills integrated into their coursework.
Each student will exit Skill Steps having gained academic skills, persistence, knowledge about services, ability to advocate for themselves, and time management and organizational skills. Graduates of Skill Steps will also qualify for a $1,000 scholarship to attend college on their new journey to a successful future.
The First Fruits Fund
The First Fruits Fund was established in 2008 with a generous grant from the Vista Hermosa Foundation. Since that time, the Fund has made 66 grants exceeding $550,000.
The stated goal of the First Fruits Fund is to “encourage collaborative and innovative approaches to building self-sufficiency for the most under-served in our communities, including improved access to such basic needs as housing, food, education and livable wages.” Founders believe that the most impactful way to achieve that goal is to support community-based initiatives that empower people themselves to identify their needs and collectively own the process of change.2012 First Fruits Grantees:
12. Community Health Assessment Task Force (CHAT) – $500
11. College Spark Program - $5,000
10.Walla Walla Symphony, Rock n’Roll Camp – $5,000
9. Trilogy Recovery Community – $7,500
8. Children’s Home Society Family Support – $10,000
7. Friends of Children of Walla Walla, Children’s Resilience Initiative – $10,000 6. Columbia School District General Support – $10,000 5. Blue Mountain Action Council Skill Steps – $10,000 4. Stay tuned….