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Human Services Department awards funding for 2018 Opportunity Fund

The Human Services Department (HSD), has awarded $213,682 in funding to eleven agencies responding to the 2018 Youth and Family Empowerment (YFE) Opportunity Fund Request for Proposals (RFP). Small grants, up to $20,000 dollars each were made available through this funding process to support agencies that work with youth and young adults of color from the ages of 12 through 24.

Eleven agencies were chosen from a pool of seventeen applicants. They include:

  1. Community Passageways ($20,000)

A program for Black/African American and Native African young adults who are involved in the criminal justice system to receive job coaching, gain job training certifications, and/or a GED or High School Diploma.


  1. Red Eagle Soaring ($20,000)

A theater program for American Indian/Alaskan Native alumni, youth and young adults. The alumni will lead youth and young adults to develop a theatrical piece to be performed at the end of the year.


  1. Somali Family Safety Task Force ($17,000)

A program to provide East African youth who live in New Holly with education and employment supports.


  1. Cham Refugee Community ($20,000)

A program for Cham youth and young adults who are not currently enrolled in school and not working to gain education and employment skills.


  1. Life Enrichment Group ($20,000)

A program designed for Black/African American girls to assess their academic needs, provide case management and support, and develop their entrepreneurial skills by creating natural care products to sell in the marketplace.


  1. Bridging Cultural Gaps ($20,000)

A group and mentoring program for East African youth and young adults with emphasis on apprenticeship opportunities.


  1. The Backpack Academy ($16,682)

A program for Black/African American and other youth of color to learn about the food industry. They will hear from local chefs about what it takes to be successful business owners, gain their food handler’s permit, and sample a variety of cuisines cooked at local, ethnic restaurants.


  1. Reel Grrls ($20,000)

A program where Black/African American and Latinx young adults will gain videography/photography skills to develop marketing materials for the Rainier Beach Neighborhood Food Innovation District.


  1. Eight Rays NW ($20,000)

A program for Filipinx high school age youth to organize, plan and execute a Filipino High School Youth Conference.


  1. the Service Board ($20,000)

This program is designed to offer professional advocacy and administrative experience for Black/African American, Latinx, Pacific Islander/Asian, LBGTQI, Immigrant and Refugee youth in program design, facilitation, curriculum development, administration, office and program support.


  1. Urban Native Education Alliance ($20,000)

A program for American Indian/Alaskan Native youth to improve their health through physical activities and workshops on nutrition and wellness.



The Opportunity Fund will support projects that are:

  • Community-initiated
  • Engages Seattle youth and young adults of color from 12 through 24 years of age (preference given to projects that engage focus populations)
  • Takes place within Seattle city limits.
  • Focuses on education, employment, safety, health, and positive connections and are,
  • Designed and led by volunteers or staff that reflect the cultures and languages of the participants.

The focus populations—specific racial or ethnic groups within the priority community showing the highest disparities in the investment areas—for the Opportunity Fund include:

  • Youth and young adults who identify as either American Indian/Alaska Native or Black/African American
  • Youth and young adults who are not currently enrolled or attending school
  • Youth and young adults who are not working.

Selected agencies demonstrated the ability to provide supportive services focusing on education, employment, safety, health and positive connections, through culturally and socially responsive practices for youth and young adults in the focus population.

The contract period for the Opportunity Fund is from August 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018.