As of many as 15 Camden City organizations committed to the youth will be eligible to receive between $5,000 and $25,000 through a Camden Education Fund program announced Monday.

“Opportunities for meaningful engagement and connection among our youth are now more important than ever,” said Camden Education Fund executive director Naeha Dean. “The pandemic has taken a devastating toll on young people, who have seen their academic and social lives disrupted for over ten months. Fortunately, Camden is home to many outstanding organizations with the drive and desire to support students at this tough time. We are grateful to be in a position to amplify their impact.”

The Youth-Serving Organization (YSO) Grant Program will provide funds to non-profits focused on supporting students outside the class through mentoring, mental health services, tutoring, arts opportunities and more

CEF organizers said up to 10 organizations will receive $5,000, and up to five organizations will receive between $10,000 and $25,000.

Winners of the grants will also be invited to quarterly, optional sessions hosted by Holmes & Company. The local accounting and consulting firm will provide guidance to non-profits on development and fundraising. According to the fund, topics will include budget development, financial reporting, internal controls, governance, and state and federal reporting requirements.

“I am excited to partner with Camden Education Fund to support nonprofits in my hometown.  Budgeting and finances can sometimes be intimidating for nonprofit leaders, but with the right support, organizations can quickly learn how to optimize their dollars and seek out additional streams of revenue to improve the quality of their program,” said Charles Holmes, Managing Partner at Holmes & Company.

“This city has an abundance of social entrepreneurs and civic-minded leaders who are committed to helping our young people reach their full potential. What’s often missing is the access to expertise that will allow nonprofits to seek out more grant opportunities. I encouraged Camden Education Fund to consider providing support beyond funding, and I’m pleased to see that they incorporated my ideas into their program,” said Councilwoman Shaneka Boucher – one of several Camden leaders that helped to set up the program.

Applicants have until Feb. 26 to apply for grants.

To apply visit www.camdenedfund.org/yso.

“As a parent and former member of the Camden Board of Education, I know that it takes a village to raise a child. I encourage anyone who is part of our ‘Camden village’ to apply to this grant,” Jose Brito, Camden Education Fund board member. “Please spread the word widely because if you are supporting young people, we want to support you.

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