The St. Paul-based Otto Bremer Foundation has announced four grants totaling $1 million to promote youth development and strengthen community capacity in Mankato, Minnesota.
Following a series of conversations with Mankato residents, including local youth and business people, government and school officials, and nonprofit leaders, the foundation decided to target its initial grantmaking in the community on youth development. The initiative is designed to make a difference for Mankato youth now and in the future by providing support for a range of youth development activities and ensuring access to them by addressing logistical barriers.
Grant recipients include the Mankato Area Foundation, which was awarded up to $400,000 over three years to endow its programs for teens; Mankato Area Healthy Youth, which received a three-year, $325,000 grant to build community capacity in support of young people; the Greater Mankato Area United Way, which was awarded up to $230,000 over three years for youth activity scholarships, staff support, and bus passes to enable teens to participate in various activities; and the Mankato Family YMCA, which will receive up to $45,000 over three years to provide programming for teens on the city's east side. The grant to the Mankato Y and portions of the grants to the Mankato Area Foundation and Greater Mankato Area United Way will match additional funds raised for youth-related programming.
"These grants are based on what we heard and learned on the ground," said Otto Bremer Foundation trustee Charlotte Johnson. "We know that quality youth programming helps to transform young people during this important developmental stage into engaged community members. The community benefits when all youth have access to opportunities for participation and leadership."