Empowering Youth & Families Outreach: Best Starts for Kids Out-of-School Time Grantee Profile
SOWA is excited to work with the many amazing organizations funded through the King County Best Starts for Kids Out-of-School Time (BSK OST) investment! These organizations, funded either as stand alone People of Color-Led organizations or Place-Based Partnerships, are all working hard to maximize their positive impact on King County youth.
Learn more about Empowering Youth and Families Outreach, funded as part of a People of Color-Led Organization grant.
EMPOWERING YOUTH AND FAMILIES OUTREACH
Empowering Youth and Families Outreach (EYFO) works for “all youth to reach adult with the skills and support needed to achieve their goals and contribute to a just and humane world.” They have provided a number of programs around King County such as after-school care, literacy programs, sports, parenting workshops, and partnering with other organizations depending on programmatic need.
Because of the BSK OST investment, EYFO has been able to expand their area of service to include Federal Way. They are able to grow their infrastructure, with 25 staff now receiving YPQI training and other professional development. This funding has already resulted in 15-20% more kids being served this year, all of whom are receiving YPQ-aligned programming.
The connection with other grantees in the BSK OST cohort is giving them access to other organizations doing great work that were previously siloed, and now comradery and solidarity is forming—including the development of new partnerships within the cohort! They have written a grant application with Geeking Out Kids of Color, and also had summer programs in the same building as Walk Away City Collaborative and are working towards partnership with them. EYFO has also had a long term partnership with Life Enrichment Group, with each organization supporting the other’s programming and referring youth to one another. Even other, non-BSK OST-funded organization have been seeking out partnerships with EYFO due to the expansion of their services.
SOWA has been a model for EYFO in our delivery of high quality trainings, effective and responsive communication, and relationship building. EYFO appreciates the intentionality around funding organizations that have been doing good work in their communities for a long time, and making the BSK OST investment about them rather than about us.
The POC-Led model promotes equity in funding. It is part of a new era of grant-making in which POC-led organization can celebrate the strength of organizations being steered by people from the communities that they’re serving, rather than having to obscure this in funding applications. This funding model also responds to the reality that larger, institutionally white organizations often receive funding because POC-Led organization have more limited capacity and infrastructure and are focused on the front-line work. This funding model is responsive to these disparities and seeks to influence other grant-makers to ensure more equitable resource allocation. EYFO is excited to have additional support in serving their kids and communities with high quality programming, and are grateful for SOWA’s role in promoting quality youth programming for kids across the state.