Queens Fellowship plans grants focusing on girls, women

By Madina Toure

The Queens Fellowship is accepting applications for a yearly grant for Queens-based organizations that seek to empower young adults in areas such as financial literacy, entrepreneurship, science and technology.

One Queens Grant, which awards up to $5,000 to Queens-based organizations with projects focused on areas that a grant-making committee determines has a great need, has been in existence for three years.

This year, the committee decided the projects must focus on empowering young adults ages 14 to 25 in the areas of financial literacy, job readiness, STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics) education and entrepreneurship.

Organizations must have been active in Queens for at least one year and must be a 501(c)3 organization or have a fiscal sponsor.

“The grant is going to prioritize programs that really focus on women and girls,” said Hannah Weinerman, the fellowship’s program director.

The Queens Fellowship is a 10-month professional development and networking program for nonprofit, faith, government and community leaders serving Queens.

The fellowship chooses 20 to 25 leaders to participate in the fellowship, who receive a year of professional development training in community building through monthly professional seminars and networking opportunities with prominent decision-makers.

The fellowship is a partnership with the New York Community Trust, LaGuardia Community College, COPO and the Center for Community Leadership at the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York.

The One Queens Grant is the fellowship’s way of giving back to the community, recognizing grassroots or community-based organizations throughout the borough, Weinerman said.

“In creating the fellowship, we wanted to make sure there was some sort of community reinvestment piece,” she said.

In 2014 the projects focused on the areas such as employment, health and community building and the year before, the projects centered on developing a healthier Queens.

Last year’s grant winners included the Corona Youth Music Project, the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance, the Rockaway Youth Task Force, the Indo-Caribbean Alliance and V.E.T.S. Incorporated.

Bernice Keshet, an intern for the Queens Fellowship, who is currently pursuing a master’s degree in social work at Columbia University’s School of Social Work, said the fellows thought there should be more projects focusing on women and girls.

“The fellows from their work saw that there’s a real need in this area,” Keshet said.

Interested applicants are encouraged to apply before the April 24 deadline. Applications can be submitted by email, mail or fax online.

Reach reporter Madina Toure by e-mail at mtoure@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4566.