America faces a crisis. We are in danger of losing our next generation of young people and their contributions to society as increasing numbers of low-income youth are dropping out or falling behind in school, cannot find a job, are in the foster care or juvenile justice system, or are otherwise at risk of not living up to their potential.
The economic costs as well as the human costs are great. Our high rate of youth unemployment, our low ranking in international educational surveys, our swollen prison population and other indicators warn that America is also losing comparative advantages in a highly competitive global marketplace.
EMCF invests in nonprofits that serve vulnerable young people who are the hardest to reach, with the greatest obstacles to overcome on their way to productive adulthood. Our 21 grantees have compelling evidence they help these youth get an education, hold a job, and stay out of trouble.
In 2012, the Foundation's 20 then-current grantees served approximately 142,500 young people, ages 9-24, in 49 states, Washington, DC and Puerto Rico.
Our investments are helping grantees strengthen their evidence base and organizational capacity so they can benefit greater numbers of young people more effectively and become models and leaders in youth development.
Youth Guidance offers an array of school-based programs that enable disadvantaged youth in Chicago to succeed in school and in life. Its innovative program, Becoming a Man, helps young males in the city's most distressed public schools develop social and cognitive skills that reduce anti-social behavior, school dropouts and gang violence.
Becoming a Man (B.A.M.) is a social and emotional learning (SEL) program offered in school, in some cases complemented by afterschool sports, to at-risk male students in grades 7-12. The program currently consists of 30 voluntary one-hour small-group sessions (15 youth, maximum), conducted once a week during the school day over the course of the school year. Each session is built around a lesson designed to develop a specific skill through stories, role-playing and group exercises, and includes a homework assignment to practice and apply that skill.
The afterschool sports component reinforces conflict resolution skills and the SEL objectives of the in-school curriculum.
EMCF invests in direct-service organizations that help economically disadvantaged young people in the United States, ages 9 to 24:
Improve their educational skills and achievement.
Prepare for the world of work so they can find and hold jobs and achieve economic self-sufficiency.
Avoid irresponsible and unproductive behaviors such as teen pregnancy and illegal activities.
In addition, an organization wishing to be considered for an EMCF grant must:
Be a stand-alone nonprofit 501(c)(3) with a history of service to young people, ages 9-24, from low-income communities in the United States;
Be financially viable, with a budget greater than $1,000,000.
The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation
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New York, NY 10017
Telephone: (212) 551- 9100
Fax: (212) 421-9325