Jun 12, 2013

From St. Helena Star: Fund for St. Helena Gives $37,000 to Youth-oriented Nonprofits

June 12, 2013 9:01 AM  •  David Stoneberg •

Six grants totaling $37,000 have been distributed to local nonprofits to help at-risk, low-income youth in St. Helena and surrounding areas.

The grants from $1,000 to $8,000 came from the Fund for St. Helena, which is a part of the Napa Valley Community Foundation.

Terence Mulligan, NVCF president, noted that since its founding in 2005, the Fund for St. Helena has distributed more than $300,000. The Fund for St. Helena, like the Fund for Calistoga, is designed to help youth in the local communities.

Mulligan said the James Irvine Foundation originally provided funds to help teens and young adults, but once those funds stopped, the Fund for St. Helena and Calistoga took over with the same goals. There is also a Fund for American Canyon founded in 2006.

Heather Baker is the diversion officer for the Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Helena and Calistoga. This past year Baker used the grant funds to introduce the DARE program into the elementary school and also helped present the “Every 15 Minutes” program at the high school. This year’s $7,000 grant will go to the St. Helena Youth Diversion/Intervention program.

The $1,000 grant for Napa Emergency Women’s Services will be used for giveaway promotional items for the school-based teen dating/violence program in St. Helena. Representative Brenda Pedroza said the outreach effort includes talking with middle school and high school students about healthy relationships.

A $5,000 grant will be used by the Napa Valley Youth Advocacy Center for seven to nine teens to cook and deliver monthly meals to residents of The Pathway Home at the Veterans Home in Yountville, as well as attend TPH graduations and other events.

An $8,000 grant for the On the Move program will help with employment opportunities for low-income, high-risk youth in St. Helena. Program representative Amber Cleveland said the grant will provide resume workshops, for example, and allow On the Move to work with more youth on a broader scale.

Sara Cakebread, executive director of the St. Helena Family Center, spoke about how proud she was of the CLARA youth mentoring program, geared toward Latinas who are split and confused with their cultural identity, with a Latino culture at home and an American one at school.

The Challenging Latinas through Awareness, Resources and Action program is working, Cakebread added. “There are 11 girls in the program who are all going to college and have received scholarships,” she said. “They are the first in their families to go on to college.”

The final $8,000 grant is for the Summer Search Foundation of Napa-Sonoma. It will provide St. Helena High School students with long-term mentoring, participation in two summer experiential education programs, provide college access resources and an alumni program.

Mulligan said this year’s $37,000 total was on the low side. It was in the $40,000 to $50,000 range in years past. Sixty to 80 percent of the money in the fund is awarded to provide “meaningful levels of support to nonprofits. We spend as aggressively as we can.”

Regarding donors, Mulligan said the median gift is $1,000 and the largest has been $20,000. Typically, the donors give year after year and Mulligan said he’s grateful for that.

The grants are made as part of a “carefully considered process,” Mulligan said, with help from an advisory committee. In St. Helena, the Advisory Committee includes Haidi Arias, David H. Brotemarkle, Suzanne Chambers, Deborah Claymon, Anne Cottrell, Sue Cross, Sarah Gamble, Janis Gay, Dr. Brad B. Nichinson, Lisa Pelosi, Linda Pingitore, Barbara Shafer, Loraine Stuart, Nena Talcott, Carry Thacher, Christina Turley, Rebekah Weeman and Kathy S. Zelazny.

Since its inception, the Fund has made possible 49 youth-development projects delivering services to 1,400 area teens and young adults. In addition to St. Helena, the Fund for St. Helena covers the communities of Angwin, Berryessa, Chiles Valley, Oakville, Pope Valley and Rutherford

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