NEW BEDFORD – United Way has once again made it possible for youth throughout Greater New Bedford to enjoy hundreds of summer opportunities, allocating nearly $100,000 in funding to 27 local programs to provide employment, camperships and cultural enrichment activities.
Each tract of the program offers its own unique attributes. Youth employment will offer forty youth ages 16-21 the opportunity to work in one of eleven non-profits in Greater New Bedford. These youth are also provided with pre-employment training and assistance with resume writing, interview skills, and money management through a partnership with New Directions. The campership tract allows local camps to offer financial aid and scholarships to low-income families to subsidize the cost of summer camp. Cultural enrichment programs are focused on allowing families to experience the cultural aspect of New Bedford together.
“We are excited to once again provide this funding allowing youth to experience the great opportunities that are present right in our own backyard,” said Michelle Hantman, President of United Way of Greater New Bedford. “These programs are vital to keeping youth active and engaged in our community, especially during the summer.”
Summer Fund is made possible through a pool of funds provided by the Island Foundation, Bilezikian Family Foundation, Patrick Carney Foundation, Women’s Fund, and Acushnet Foundation, YES and Rainy Day Funds at the Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts.
Summer Fund originally began in 1993 to provide camperships to at-risk youth. In response to local needs, Summer Fund expanded in 2008 to include employment opportunities for older youth as well as cultural enrichment opportunities to the entire community.
“These positions will allow our youth to see the importance of giving back to their community,” said Victoria Grasela, Summer Fund outreach coordinator. “Hopefully their summer positions help spark something in them that will make them want to be more involved.”
Nonprofits which received funding to provide employment and enrichment opportunities include: 3rd EyE Unlimited; artMOBILE; AHA! New Bedford / City Celebrates; Artworks!; Boys & Girls Club of Greater New Bedford; Buttonwood Park Zoo; Community Boating Center; Dennison Memorial Community Center; Dream Out Loud; Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts; Hunger Commission; Immigrants’ Assistance Center; Lloyd Center for the Environment; Boy Scouts of America – Narragansett Council; New Bedford Festival Theatre; New Bedford Whaling Museum; New Bedford Youth Court; NorthStar Learning Centers; Our Sisters’ School; Team Builders; Temple Landing; Trips for Kids; Trustees of Reservations; YMCA Southcoast – Camp Metacomet, Camp Nep-in-NAE and Camp Massasoit; and YWCA Southeastern Massachusetts.
If you would like to make a donation to United Way’s Summer Fund program, contact Victoria Grasela at 508-994-9625, ext. 10.