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State Farm Insurance is awarding a $25,000 grant through their “Neighborhood Assist” program for 1 out of 40 causes to build stronger neighborhoods.You get 10 votes per day. You can use them all on one cause or spread them out in any way among multiple causes.
Of the last four graduating classes in the Norwalk Public Schools (NPS), 38% of graduates (approximately 1,200 students) did not continue to post-secondary education. Of those students who did not pursue higher education immediately after graduation, 76% were students of color, highlighting the impact of the opportunity gap. While the number of students who did not continue with their education after twelfth grade is high, a more alarming number is Norwalk’s 12% dropout rate. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reports widely on the long-term impact of not receiving a high school diploma, including lower earning power and higher rates of institutionalization (including incarceration). In fact, NCES reports that a student who does not complete high school “costs the economy approximately $272,000 over his or her lifetime in terms of lower tax contributions, higher reliance on Medicaid and Medicare, higher rates of criminal activity, and higher reliance on welfare.”
Receiving these funds would allow us to continue in our mission to better serve underprivileged youth. A ten-week program lays the foundation for the cohort of students to learn what it takes to run and manage a business including developing a business plan, marketing, budgeting, applying for loans/approaching investors as well as basic financial literacy. At the end of this process, each youth is expected to build a business plan. Each youth is expected to dedicate a minimum of one day per week at their worksite and receives a stipend of $150 per week for completing this attendance requirement. To encourage fiscal responsibility, YBI offers prizes for how the stipend money is used. For example, a prize could be given out to the youth who saved the largest amount of their stipend or for reinvesting the stipend into their business plan. Not only would this be great for our youth and families, but it will also be a good thing for our local economy.
This grant would allow us to cover all funds for our first cohort of students.
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