Jorge M. Perez foundation grants fund 10 Miami causes
The Jorge M. Pérez Family Foundation at The Miami Foundation is making $600,000 in grants to benefit nonprofit groups that promote equitable education, address growing concerns of economic inequality and more. The grantees include 10 local and national organizations.
“Supporting such worthy causes brings the entire family great joy,” said Jorge M. Pérez, founder of the Pérez Family Foundation and the Related Philanthropic Foundation, in a statement. “The Miami Foundation assisted with providing recommendations and then each group was hand-selected by the family based on their track-record, upcoming initiatives and, of course, their respective level of need.”
The grantees and their focus areas are:
■Catalyst Miami Inc. (education)
Catalyst Miami’s mission is to solve issues adversely affecting low-wealth communities throughout Miami-Dade County. Their grant will support the launch of “Future Bound Miami,” a local Children’s Saving Accounts (CSAs) program – a college savings model – by investing in the key first-year outreach and engagement of parents of kindergarteners in the City of Miami. ■Easter Seals South Florida (health and well-being/economic development)
Easter Seals’ grant will go towards expanding the reach and impact of its Life Skills Centers. The goals are to grow the Life/Job Skills program, currently serving about 100 individuals, from one to three sites (Miami, Miami Gardens and Kendall) and create an expansion plan for more off-site programs and real-world experiences.
■GableStage (arts and culture)
GableStage’s grant will support the world premiere of “Watson” by New York Times Bestselling author James Grippando, which will open the 2019-2020 season and be the second world premiere in the organization’s 21-year history.
■Grameen America Inc. (economic development)
The Miami branch of Grameen America provides low-income women with business capital in the form of micro-loans, financial training, and community support to help lift their families out of poverty and spearhead economic revitalization in their neighborhoods. Since opening in December 2017, it has become the organization’s fastest-growing branch in the nation.
■KIPP Miami (education)
Launched in 2018, KIPP Miami has enabled families to enroll their child in KIPP Miami’s high-performing schools. Their grant will support the growth of the KIPP Sunrise Academy elementary school in Liberty City as it adds more grade levels.
■Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired (health and well-being/education)
This grant will support the organization’s Learning Center for Children. In addition to its pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classes, the center will add classrooms for students moving to first and second grades. It will also expand on-campus workshops and seminars, and use digital technology to increase the ability to raise awareness of best practices and provide professional development.
■Miami Waterkeeper (environment)
Miami Waterkeeper’s grant will support its “1,000 Eyes on the Water” program and develop a mobile application for pollution reporting in conjunction with Google developers, create online learning materials, implement more Spanish language outreach and outreach to high-need areas.
■The Education Fund Inc. (health and well-being/education)
The Education Fund’s grant will expand its Food Forests for Schools initiative to more public schools in Miami-Dade. That first-in-the-nation effort aims to transform schoolyards into large-scale, outdoor eco-classrooms planted with superfoods that are used to improve science learning and nutritional habits, provide fresh foods for school meals and send food home to thousands of families.
■Together for Children (health and well-being/education
This grant will support ongoing grassroots family engagement and youth in the communities served by its six neighborhood coalitions. The countywide, multi-partner collaboration has created a referral and family case management system that reaches more than 10,000 high-risk youth. The neighborhood-based work will continue to reduce chronic school absenteeism, youth arrests, and increase the number of youth participating in out of school programs or internships
■Voices For Children Foundation Inc. (health and well-being)
This grant will aim to reduce the time children spend in foster care by adding a specialist focused exclusively on permanency. For children in foster care, the lack of permanency – a secure attachment to at least one adult – has significant implications for their health, educational, social needs, and prospects for success.
“The unimaginable inequality I saw during my youth in Cuba and Latin America left an irrevocable mark,” said Mr. Pérez. “Those early experiences not only fueled me during my early years as a city planner, but also led to my lifelong commitment to improving the quality of life in Miami and other cities around our country. This pledge has now been picked up by my children, letting me rest easy knowing the Pérez family will remain a steadfast community supporter long after I am gone.”
Details: jmperezfamilyfoundation.org, Relatedgroup.com.