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Fourteen nonprofits receive grants for services to Latino community
By Chris Barnett / March 15, 2017 /   Loading Disqus...
Fourteen nonprofit organizations that serve the Latino community will receive grants from the Rhode Island Foundation through the Juanita Sánchez Community Fund, established in memory of the late Latina activist.

The Fund was created in 1992 through the contributions of friends and family members who wished to memorialize Sánchez as a leader, organizer and long-time believer in fighting for the unmet needs and rights of Latinos. To date, the fund has awarded more than $110,000 in grants.

Beat the Streets Providence will use its grant to purchase uniforms for students in the combined wrestling program at Calcutt Middle School and Segue Institute for Learning in Central Falls. The nonprofit that starts co-educational wrestling teams in order to inspire at-risk youth and provide them with the support they need to succeed on and off the mat.

“This is not only an incentive to attend practices, and thus attend school, but also provides our students with an opportunity to see that through their hard work they can earn the things that they want. Wrestling is a hook to provide them with academic support, strong mentoring, healthy physical activity, and incentives to succeed in school,” said Billy Watterson, executive director.

The Community Preparatory School will use its grant to fund scholarships for Latina girls. Located in Providence, the independent middle school serves about 150 generally low-income students in grades 3 through 8. Ninety-two percent of the students receive substantial financial aid.


“Most of our students are at-risk because of the economic conditions that they face. Breaking the cycle of poverty lies in the availability of quality education within a safe and nurturing environment,” said Dan Corley, Head of School.

Southside Community Land Trust of Providence will use its grant to support summer jobs for local youth at its Somerset Hayward Youth Enterprise Farm.

"These young people will develop skills and habits such as effective communication, personal responsibility and appropriate workplace behavior. The experience will launch most on a pathway toward graduation, employment and meaningful involvement in their communities,” said Margaret DeVos, executive director.

AIDS Care Ocean State, the Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy, the Boy Scouts, the Community Boating Center, the Educational Center for Arts & Science, the Montessori Community School, the Mount Hope Learning Center, New Urban Arts, the RI Institute for Labor Studies & Research, the Washington Park Citizen’s Association and Women & Infants Hospital also received grants.

The Juanita Sánchez Community Fund is guided by an advisory committee comprised of Marta V. Martínez, Michele Cortez Harkins, Tony Sánchez and Tia Ristaino-Siegel. Supporters can donate to fund on-line on the Foundation’s website. The deadline to apply for the next round of funding is Sept. 29.

“More than 20 years after her death, Juanita Sánchez still evokes powerful memories, smiles, tears, advocacy and the act of giving to Latino issues in Rhode Island. Today, the Sánchez Fund memorializes Juanita’s life by making small grants to organizations seeking to serve the unmet needs and advance the rights of Latinos,” said Martinez.

The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island. In 2016, the Foundation awarded a record $45 million in grants to organizations addressing the state's most pressing issues and needs of diverse communities. Through leadership, fundraising and grantmaking activities, often in partnership with individuals and organizations, the Foundation is helping Rhode Island reach its true potential.
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