We hope that the following profiles of grant recipients will provide a sense of the types of programs we have supported in recent years.
Group 1: a group working with girls and young women of color in the inner city of a major Midwestern city. This group’s mission is to equip girls and young women of color with life and leadership skills that foster individual growth and inspire the young women to use their talents for positive change in their communities and throughout the world. This group reaches out to the girls and their communities with many different events, programs, and activities throughout the year. A grant from Charter Oak Foundation helped to fund this group’s program specifically aimed at reducing by 50% the number of teenage pregnancies among young women 14 to 19 years of age in two inner-city communities. The supported program advocates for comprehensive sex education in schools, challenging the culture of low expectations for girls, promoting facilitated conversations about sex between adults and youth, and encouraging girls of color to participate in sports, hobbies, and with youth organizations with the aim of avoiding pregnancy until at least age 24.
Group 2: a group providing animal-assisted therapy and related programming to youth in Washington State. The majority of this group’s clients have been hand-picked by school staff, social service organizations and families as needing behavioral and emotional interventions. Approximately 90% of these youth are low income and in desperate need of significant intervention to prevent school drop outs, incarcerations, gang involvement, drug use and suicide attempts. Few have access to mental health interventions other than those offered by this group. Founded 12 years prior to submitting its grant request to Charter Oak Foundation, this group has been extremely successful at serving those suffering from myriad issues including hopelessness, low self-esteem, anger and lack of impulse control, chemical dependency in themselves and/or family members, and a history of abuse. A grant from Charter Oak Foundation enabled this group to increase the funding for its mental health counselor, doubling the number of youth the counselor served that year.
Group 3: a group providing mental health services to LGBTQ youth in the Upper Midwest. This relatively young group was founded a few years before submitting its grant request to Charter Oak Foundation. It provides both critical/immediate and ongoing/longer-term support services for the growing population of LGBTQ youth (most of whom are also youth of color) and their families. Services provided by this group target five main areas of need among its clientele: immediate safety and stability, life direction support, health advocacy, document preparation, and family support, while providing accessible and consistent relationships and a critical sense of connection for the youth. A grant from Charter Oak Foundation helped this group hire a second full-time therapist to its team.
Group 4: a small, residential program for low-income minority males from inner-city junior high schools in Connecticut. This competitive program recruits promising young men and provides them with a family-like structure (meals, housing, structured study times and tutoring, recreational activities, college selection and admissions guidance, and so on) in a group home in a high-achieving school district, where the students benefit from the dedication and expertise of local residents and the resources of the local high school. The academic curriculum is more demanding than the students are accustomed to, and they are provided with one-on-one tutoring and help developing the study habits they need to succeed, as well as with guidance in developing leadership and self-determination in an independent residential group-living environment under adult supervision. This group has an exceptionally strong track record of success, with its graduates going on to some of the finest colleges and universities in the country, including Yale, Duke, London School of Economics, Williams College, Wesleyan, and the University of Connecticut. 100% of the program participants graduate from high school and go on to college, where more than 95% of them finish their undergraduate degrees. A grant from Charter Oak Foundation helped to fund this group’s skill-building summer program for its incoming students.