As Brooklyn’s community foundation, we’re thrilled to support efforts to help our communities thrive across the borough, especially our youth. We are honored to help shape National Grid’s inaugural Youth Spaces Competition and celebrate the winners at a reception that was held last week at the Weeksville Heritage Center.
The National Grid Youth Spaces Competition is a Brooklyn-based program that grants $50,000 to small local nonprofits with the aim of developing physical spaces dedicated to young people in the community. It is the newest initiative of National Grid’s ongoing Project C, which is committed to building a more equitable future for community youth. “We started this pilot project in Brooklyn, an incredibly rich, diverse and lively borough that still deals with many challenges that impact our youth,” National Grid Customer and Community Management Associate Analyst Michelle Lin explained. “We saw this problem and decided to focus the competition to help the borough's youth to support the [younger] generation with the resources they need to succeed.”
With our longstanding commitment to community-led change and mission of centering racial justice in our work, we were delighted to provide advisory services for the competition’s inaugural year. After the judging committee selected the six finalists, community members voted to select the final award winner.
This year, the competition’s first-place $25,000 winner is The Brave House
, a nonprofit that provides legal support and community resources to young immigrant women and gender-expansive youth with a focus on those who are survivors of gender-based violence. The organization will allocate these funds to building a donation closet for their clients, which will provide food and clothes for both babies and young people. “It's incredible when you are able to provide physical space for people in communities that don't have their own space and are not honored in that way,” The Brave Space Youth Advocate Leora Sammett
shared. “We really think that having safety physically just makes all the difference and allows us to do really exceptional work with exceptional women.”
We look forward to seeing the continued work of these nonprofits to expand opportunities for our borough’s young people—and we are especially thankful to the community voters who used their collective voice to impact the lives of Brooklyn youth!