The Consulate General of Israel to the Midwest announced winners of its Social Impact Grants during an awards ceremony on Friday, June 17, in Detroit.
Empowered Flower Girl was selected among three Michigan-based organizations to receive a grant.
Other organizations awarded include: Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice and Quartz Water Source.
“Out of the numerous applications that we received, these three grassroots organizations reflect a value that is also quintessential to Israeli society: taking care of our own and each other” said Yinam Cohen, Consul General of Israel to the Midwest.
Empowered Flower Girl will use the funds to host events this fall, including a Be the Impact Summit in honor of International Day of the Girl and service-learning showcase for youth.
“At Empowered Flower Girl, our tagline is be empowered, live powerfully and this wonderful Social Impact Grant from the Consulate General of Israel to the Midwest will help us continue our work with young people who are being the change in their schools, communities and in the world,” said EFG Founder and Chief Empowering Officer Rasheda Williams.
In 2021, the Consulate provided its first Social Impact Grants in Minneapolis. The Consulate General of Israel to the Midwest is charged with connecting to the following states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
Volunteers make a difference in communities across the country and around the world. Studies have shown that giving back through service can positively impact mental and physical health. If that’s the case, then Simone Bernstein is the poster child of wellness. Simone, 24, is the co-founder of VolunTEEN Nation, a comprehensive national organization designed to help youth and families find volunteer opportunities. She’s been an active volunteer in and around her community for more than a decade.
We had a chance to connect with the George Washington University Medical School student last month after stumbling upon volunTEENnation.org.
1. When you were in middle/high school, what were some of your volunteer experiences? I first started volunteering at my local library when I was in middle school. I helped check-out and shelve books. Through word-of-mouth I learned of other opportunities for teens in my community. Since I was interested in a career in medicine, when I was 16, I volunteered at the local VA Hospital. Having a variety of volunteer experiences helped me network, develop skills and explore career options. I realized that all youth can benefit from volunteering, but there were limited ways for teens to find opportunities. So in 2009, I created a regional website for youth to find and easily connect with volunteer opportunities in the St. Louis region. The interest from the regional website encouraged my brother and I launch a national website to engage youth throughout the nation in service.
2. As a medical student and nonprofit founder, how do you balance academics and altruism? Med school is challenging, so we are truly fortunate to have a great team of high school and college students that volunteer their time to organize, plan and lead events for volunTEENnation.org.
3. What advice would you give to teens or young adults who want to make a difference but don’t know where to start? Call non-profit organizations in your area and ask how you can help either on site or off site. For example, a homeless shelter could benefit from a personal hygiene products drive or food banks welcome a healthy food drive. Students can also offer to oversee the social media tasks like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter for an organization.
Want to start a STEM program for your kindergarten class or host a financial literacy night for teens and parents in your community? If your school, community organization or house of workshop can use some extra funding to support extracurricular programming, then you should definitely check out this resource.
As a youth development practitioner, I’m always reading to keep my skill set current and relevant. Youth Today is my go-to publication for everything related to adolescents. The bi-monthly independent newspaper has a special section full of current grants.
If you need money and resources for your project, having this resource is a must.
Check out these available grants: