Local leaders and community members involved in mini-grant projects were given the following prompt:
Share a story about a mini grant experience.
Your story can be something, anything that happened related to a mini-grant. It doesn’t have to prove anything—we are not looking to grade anyone. It can be something rare and meaningful or something that happens every day. The more stories, the more people who tell stories, the better we can represent who you are and what you do.
We hope your stories can help us understand more about mini-grants, how they help, what the challenges are while getting to know the people behind them and connected to them.
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This month ended our mini grant experience. I am so grateful and thankful to have been chosen as a grant recipient. This was my first time writing and applying for a grant so I am extremely happy that I was able to have this experience. I originally went into this with thinking that I was going to have a partner to help with implementing/executing the project but my partner ended up leaving the agency so I was the main one in charge throughout the majority of the grant. It was very stressful and tiring at times to try to coordinate and plan everything on my own. I did have some support from co-workers for my events in June which was very appreciated as I don’t think these events would have been able to be pulled off without them. The final monthly workshop of dancing to drums was one of the better workshops that we have have throughout the series. The youth seemed to really enjoy it and be engaged. It also had one of our larger turnout of participants for our events. I really enjoyed watching the youth smile and interact with the facilitators. The changes in some of their…
AYSO (American Youth Soccer Organization) As a recipient of Healthier Jupiter’s first mini grant, we are happy to share our story of success. Within our “Charter Neighborhoods” there was, and is, a need for an opportunity for the youth to come together and play; Soccer was the preferred sport. I applied to AYSO to open a region in Jupiter. When the request was approved, we began playing soccer at the Jupiter Elementary School field on weekends. In the second year of play, HJ awarded AYSO Region 1639 a mini grant of $2500 for continuation of our soccer program with an emphasis on improving health among the mothers of the players. For 10 weeks we used the track at the school as a Walk/Run contest, the mothers improved their health and won Publix gift cards and had a great time! As our season came to a close, the families were treated to an evening of fun, food, and education at the Jupiter High School cafeteria. The JHS chefs prepared a typical Mayan dinner, with a healthy twist. Kathleen Waddell arranged for a Spanish-speaking educational speaker who gave us tips on improving our nutrition and provided a better understanding of the detriments…
The Healthier Jupiter Mini-Grant served as a catalyst for our organization to bring the benefits of boxing – exercise, discipline, and fun – to young students throughout the Jupiter area. The boxing program brought together students from all walks of life. The best part was seeing students laugh and learn lessons that they will be able to take with them for the rest of their lives. I believe I speak for other volunteers and coaches when I say it is incredibly rewarding to see a student experience a light bulb moment when they see how they can apply lessons learned through sports and apply those lessons to their daily lives.
Glee and wide-eyed enthusiasm are not typical descriptors of middle school students, but I can honestly say that’s what is seen on competition days. Five minutes of “fitness training” every class period has given most students the confidence and motivation to use their new skills to become class champions for the week. Even better, some participate to improve upon their personal best! When reluctant students state that they actually enjoyed competing I congratulate them for doing something outside their comfort zone. Having the students choose the events helps with “buy-in;” reflecting on what worked and didn’t strengthen critical thinking, persuasion, cooperation, and compromise which help improve the next iteration. Although many don’t like to complete the fitness homework log, I am frequently told about more time being spent being active than playing video games! Several students come into class excited for the “First5Fit!” workout, and the challenging behaviors have been reduced. On the days we have competitions, participation and performance on the weekly quiz increases for most students! This project has helped me as an educator as well as my own physical fitness and well-being. I have experienced growth in skills and confidence that I did not anticipate. Sharing the…
I recently taught a Drum Circle Class at Vita Nova. Everyone learned the basic skills so quickly, leading to a very fluid session. I enjoyed getting to know everyone’s stories and how music played a role in their lives. My favorite moment was when each person shared a song that meant a lot to them; they then tried to duplicate the beat on their drums with everyone else following. I would definitely be open to working with Vita Nova in the future, they are an amazing group of people doing impactful work in our community.
I am so grateful to have received my first ever grant from Healthier Neighbors in such a time of need. Also, I am grateful that my introduction to applying for a grant was smooth. As a recipient of the grant it has truly allowed me to make the necessary enhancements to my business for growth. During a pandemic so many people had to pivot personally and professionally, and my grant experience allowed me to do both. Not only was I applying for funds, I had to help others understand the importance of what GLOWrious Bath & Body was on a mission to do. The trainings provided, the encouragement given, and the sense of community definitely helped me charge forward. Fast forward, the funds has been exercised to great use by providing me with a more seamless interface to interact with my consumers. Lastly and more importantly, I have established and continue to build lasting relationships with those I’ve met along the journey. Again, I am so grateful that this experience has been pleasant and edifying.
Sister to Sister Palm Beach State College – In March we had two events. One was Nutrition. My name is Sherry Fletcher and I am the coordinator of the program but I am also a registered dietitian and we reviewed some information about the credentials of a dietitian/nutritionist and some basic nutrition information with Mentors and Mentees. It was interesting because one of the Mentors is our Director of our RN to BSN program. It was nice to see that she was backing up the information I was trying to get across to the audience and her knowledge about nutrition. We made a great team. Mentors and Mentees attended the final Money Skills sessions from PNC Bank at this session the discussion was how to protect yourself from fraud. It was interesting to hear how some of the students had the personal information almost stolen or altered. Many of the students felt that both sessions were beneficial to them.
I recently was really worried about the artist submissions for the ball. At first we have only 12 submissions. Then we had 24 submissions as of March 26. I was worried that we would not have a lot of people to sign up (since the Call to Art was over with on the 5th of April). Two days before the call ended, I was notified that we had over 108 submissions! This was all thanks to the marketing from myself, the reposting from different orgs like BeWell and the Arts Warehouse. I also spent time everyday emailing different artists and art galleries about the art call. So hard work pays off. On Friday, we started to narrow down the artwork. There are sooo many talented artists out there. Im so blessed to know that I played a small role in them submitting. Im happy they took the event seriously. Seeing 108 submissions really gave me back my motivation for the event.
For the Women Helping Women mini-grant, we’ve been very receptive in regards to client mental health needs during this difficult time as it relates to world affairs. Previously, we were offering virtual-only Zumba classes every Monday evening as a COVID-19 safety measure. Now that restrictions have been relaxed, we have recently been able to offer in-person Zumba classes at the park next to our site to great success. Originally, our numbers for virtual Zumba were small but steady. However, since we’ve started offering in-person classes, those numbers have been growing! Our participating clients love in-person Zumba classes and have commented on how helpful they’ve found the class. “I feel refreshed and energized, and I’ve been losing weight.”, said one 25-year-old client. “Attending classes in-person has been a breath of fresh air. “Every Monday evening, the Lake Worth West Park is flooded with women of all ages, dressed in athletic attire with the goal of living a healthier, less stressful, and wholesome day-to-day life. Everyone is all smiles from the time the music starts to the time it ends. Our Zumba instructor is lively and friendly, always happy to guide and help others through the steps. “I love Zumba!” she says.…