YEA Camp is thrilled to be partnering with The Pollination Project to identify and fund young changemakers to launch or expand upon worthy social change projects.
The Pollination Project, a foundation that makes small grants to grassroots activists all over the world, has partnered with The California Endowment to look for and fund outstanding young people in California for its Youth Rising grant. Youth Empowered Action (YEA) Camp, a summer camp for teen activists, happens to know a lot of outstanding young people in California!
Three YEA Campers have already been selected to receive $1000 grants from this unique program, helping to manifest their visions to expand their efforts.
Phoebe Collver-Freeland, from Fremont, CA, attended YEA Camp in Oregon first as a 14-year old in 2013 and again 3 years later in New York. Phoebe is a lifelong vegan and became an animal advocate at the age of 11(!). Phoebe and her family have turned their Bay Area property into a microsanctuary for rescued farmed animals.
Phoebe’s vision is to add a visitor center to the microsanctuary so that members of the community, especially kids, can visit and connect with the chickens, pigs, and goats.
YEA Camp’s director Nora Kramer nominated Phoebe for the Flow Fund, and we are thrilled that Phoebe got the grant! Phoebe, now 17, was declared by PETA2 to be “The Coolest Vegan Alive,” just got even cooler!
Akosua Boateng is a senior at Sacramento Charter High School and attended YEA Camp in 2014.
After attending YEA Camp, she told us, “I’ve learned so much. [Before camp] when I looked at the civil rights movement, it was like, what can I do today? … Now I have a plan, instead of just going off the top of my head or going with the flow. I have a plan. I’m not unprepared for the world.”
This made our hearts sing! Since YEA Camp, Akosua has become very active in social justice causes at her school and a local sustainable farm in Sacramento.
We nominated Akosua for a grant for her Project GOOD, an acronym for Growing Our Own Destiny, and she got the grant! Akosua works with the Yisrael Family Farm in the South Oak Park neighborhood of Sacramento to, in her words, “use urban agriculture activism to get more people of color and of low income in touch with what we believe is a sacred thing — cultivating the Earth.”
With the grant, Akosua and her team will make starter gardening boxes to give to people in the community who want to grow their own food. “It’s our way of food activism, ensuring that all people can have a high-quality life while giving back to the Earth,” Akosua said.
Akosua was thrilled when she found out she had been awarded the grant. “I am truly inspired and grateful for us receiving this grant. It gives me hope for humanity. It reassures me that there are still people out there who are past the superficial and sincerely care about the health of our bodies and the Earth. We must step and be good stewards of the land given to us. Here in the city, we will start with urban agriculture.”
Similarly, Aly Pelka, 18, from Oceanside, who attended YEA Camp with Akosua three summers ago as a 15-year-old, has become passionate about farming, growing food, and helping people in need. She helps organize monthly events to provide food and needed items to homeless and low-income people in her area. Aly has found that the homeless community in her area are “smart and care about health, they just unfortunately don’t have access to healthy food.” Aly has gotten a certification in permaculture and lived abroad farming on sustainable communities in Central America, and she wants to put what she’s learned into action in her community.
We nominated Aly for a project that is inspired by combining these passions, and we were thrilled that she was selected to receive the grant.
Called Plant Love, Aly will be working with members of her community to create planter boxes of veggies that will be maintained by local businesses in her town, many of which have already agreed to participate.
“I am beyond grateful for this grant, as I strive to positively influence the world, starting with my own community,” Aly said. “With this grant, I am going to touch the lives of my community, and fuel my neighbors with organic fruits, veggies, and lots of love.”
We have been beyond thrilled to help these outstanding young changemakers access the funds that have been made so generously available by The Pollination Project and The California Endowment.
For our final project in supporting the California Youth Rising grant, YEA Camp and The Pollination Project are partnering with Reframe Labs, an incubator and accelerator for innovative in and out of district schools dedicated to equity, to put on The $1000 School Hack contest this Saturday. The day-long event held at Sunnyside Baptist Church in the South Central part of Los Angeles will award up to 5 $1000 grants to students in the LA Unified School District who develop innovative ideas to improve their schools.
“Students crave to express themselves and take ownership of their lives,” Sean Markin, the VP of Advocacy and Communications at Reframe Labs, explained. “We all want the pride that comes from helping our community. But how often do students get the opportunity to help reinvent their education? How often can students bring investment back to their school family? We are excited to use the $1,000 School Hack to empower our city’s children in these unique and powerful ways.”
Are you a student, or do you know a student in LA ages 13-18?
Click here to register to participate in this free event, which is open to middle- and high-school students throughout the state.
“We draw so much inspiration and hope from young change makers. It is a privilege to work with YEA Camp to identify and invest in youth-led social change projects in California,” said Pollination Project’s Executive Director Alissa Hauser.
We feel the same! Being able to partner with The Pollination Project to help some of our campers get funding to expand their social change efforts and make a bigger difference in their communities has been an honor, and partnering with Reframe Labs has enabled us to connect even more young change makers with the funds to help them implement their visions. We are thrilled that there are organizations like The Pollination Project, The California Endowment, and Reframe Labs that are helping to elevate youth innovation and passions to make a difference.
If you or someone you know is a young changemaker, ages 12-17, check out YEACamp.org to see about joining us at our summer camp for social change to take your efforts to make a difference the next level. And if you or someone you know is doing social change work that would benefit from greater funding, visit ThePollinationProject.org.