Today, Mayor Ed Murray launched the Summer of Opportunity and Safety, a City-led effort to expand summer programming for youth through grant-funded programs, Seattle Parks Department activities and youth jobs. These programs help connect youth to opportunities across the city, focusing attention on positive activity that itself is a strong violence prevention measure. A key piece of this effort is the Youth Opportunity Fund, a $145,000 fund to support community agencies and groups which provide positive youth development activities. Additionally, the City is unveiling a new portal, www.Seattle.gov/youth-opportunity, where those looking for summer activities can find places to apply or drop-in programs throughout the summer.
“Our young people are the future of our city and we must invest in their growth and safety year-round,” said Mayor Murray. “Programs focused on engaging and supporting youth can propel them to future opportunities, including jobs. This summer, we are doubling down on that commitment to our youth by helping them access a positive environment that will help them thrive, which is the best way to prevent youth violence.”
Community organizations and businesses are encouraged to apply for a summer opportunity grant, with awards ranging from $5,000 to $15,000. The application deadline is Tuesday, June 20 at 5 p.m. Visit the Youth Opportunity Fund website for details. A list of programs funded in 2016 can be found here.
This fund is part of the Mayor’s Youth Opportunity Initiative which is focused on ensuring that all youth in Seattle have access to the opportunities and resources needed to allow them to thrive and successfully become an adult. Mayor Murray also created the Youth Opportunity Cabinet to better coordinate youth programming across City departments as part of his commitment to improving education, employment, safety, health and positive connections for Seattle youth, particularly youth of color.
The new Mayor’s Youth Opportunity Initiative website provides links to enriching summer programs across City Departments that are available during the summer. These efforts include but are not limited to:
The City has added 200 new summer learning slots to increase access to summer learning opportunities for at-risk youth. These positions help close the achievement gap and help more Seattle youth graduate from Seattle Public School on-time and attain post-secondary credentials.
Expanding access to summer employment for youth by placing 3,500 jobs through the Mayor’s Youth Opportunity Initiative. This initiative focuses on getting more Seattle youth engaged in meaningful employment opportunities to prepare them for academic success and career development.
Nearly doubling the City’s Youth Opportunity Fund to $145,000 to support community organizations and groups that work to ensure Seattle youth are safe and free of negative involvement in the criminal justice system.
Launching a mentoring pilot this summer using $300,000 in new funding authorized by Mayor Murray to close mentoring gaps. Through the mentoring pilot, the City will recruit more Black adult men to serve as mentors for young Black men.
Health and Recreation:
Providing expanded health and recreation programs for low-income youth of color including a new partnership with Seattle Sounders FC’s RAVE Foundation to provide free soccer camps for underserved communities.