INNOVATIVE PARTNERS

2020 and 2021

iNNOVATIVE Partners

Each year, HOPE Buffalo offers funding to selected organizations that promote positive youth development, engagement and adolescent health in the Buffalo community.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to be creative, think outside the box, and propose activities that strengthen referral and linkage to adolescent health and other supportive services, implement innovative activities, and a set of coordinated strategies to reduce teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections and increase optimal teen health for youth that reside in the following priority areas: 14206, 14211 & 14215.

This is a great opportunity to engage youth in civic action and make positive impact on
the city of Buffalo.

2021 Innovation Partner Awardees

Category: Center and Support Youth Voice

 

BUFFLO CENTER FOR ARTS AND TECHNOLOGY, INC

BCAT’s Youth Arts Program (YAP) will produce and disseminate Public Service Announcements (PSA) to share facts about teen pregnancy, sexual health, and general practices to remain safe. The PSAs will be made for and by Buffalo’s high school youth with the goal to prevent their peers from engaging in activities that are potentially harmful and that can have negative long-term consequences. BCAT will partner with Planned Parenthood, GrowGutsy Girls, and Girl Gang Entertainment to engage youth in workshops, conversations, and discussions about sexual health. The PSA project will be implemented in fall 2021.

Get in Touch: Callie Lewis, Youth Program Social Worker
Phone: (716) 259-1680 Ext.107

 

BUFFALO'S OWN

Buffalo's Own will use the funds from HOPE Buffalo to provide the community with resources and opportunities to grow creatively. They plan on providing a combination of painting and photography classes to children ages 6-14. The classes will be conducted once per week in September 2021.

Get in Touch: Lisa Brown (716-603-0014)

 

ERIE COUNTY RESTORIVE JUSTICE COALITION

The Erie County Restorative Justice Coalition will use the grant money to build restorative spaces for young people in the city of Buffalo. ECRJC is specifically gathering a team of youth leaders to plan and facilitate restorative circles in their communities. Youth leaders meet weekly to plan and lead youth in these restorative spaces. This project is ongoing through December 2021.

Get in Touch: jbrodka@ecrjc.org, snorthington@ecrjc.org

 

NATIVE AMERICAN COMMUNITY SERVICES

The Native American Community Services Peer Educators Empowering People (PEEPs) will facilitate MOCA, as well as a Mini-Conference led for and by youth. MOCA is an 8-week, discussion-based mentoring program designed to empower youth to take control of their sexual health and is open to high school students aged 14-18. The Mini-Conference will highlight the expertise of youth in the Buffalo area and will be open to the greater Buffalo community. MOCA and the Mini-Conference will be run October through December 2021.

Get in Touch: Abby Crosby, Sexual Health Educator and Erie County Peer Education Mentor

 

PURSUE YOUR IT, INC

The HOPE Buffalo fund will be used to support Buffalo youth being enrolled in The Pursue Your It Project, which is an online program created for middle school and high school students that promotes health education, social-emotional learning, preventative health behavior development, and provides an opportunity for youth voices to be heard. The project will run throughout the Fall of 2021 and be completed by December 21, 2021.

Get in Touch: Cindy Miller

 

SHIFTING GEARS UNLIMITED

The HOPE Buffalo grant funds will be used to purchase supplies necessary to assist our youth throughout the year to achieve their academic and career goals through journal writing, vision boards, and field trips. Technology will be upgraded by purchasing new software, computer, website update, internet services, and advertisement. The project will run from July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2022

Get in Touch: Beverly Robinson-Smith, MOL President/Owner

 

UB CAPABLE GIRLS: VOICING YOUTH SEXUAL RIGHTS

The funds from HOPE Buffalo will be used for the Youths Sexual Rights Workgroup. The Youth Sexual Rights Workgroup is working to implement a Youth Sexual Rights Statement in Buffalo: a short declaration about youths’ NYS rights to comprehensive and confidential sexual health care to be recited by providers when they work with a young person around relevant issues. They are planning a community summit to launch the initiative with the hope that diverse stakeholders – youth, families, and providers across fields – will recognize that youth have a right to know their rights.

Get in Touch: Laina Y. Bay-Cheng

 

Category: Evidence Based Intervention Implementation

 

BUFFALO MIDWIFERY SERVICES

Buffalo Midwifery Services will use the HOPE Buffalo Grant for Navigating the Law of Attraction, a sexual health education program for youth. The six-session program will help participants to understand human reproduction and their responsibilities in it. They meet in an improv circle that respects the unique contributions of each individual. ​ Topics include anatomy of male and female reproduction, consent, media, self-respect, desire, and other issues brought up by participants. The Navigating the law of attraction program will start in September.

Get in Touch: Eileen Stewart

 

Category: Government and Policymaking

 

KIDZ ZONE CHILD CARE CENTER INC

Kidz Zone used the funds to provide a safe, supportive environment for children, teens, and parents from zip codes 14206, 14211, and 14215. They had discussions in person, and on social media about overall health and wellness and provided the HOPE Buffalo referral guide as a resource guide for participants.

Get in Touch: Latrice Martin, 716-510-1720

 

FULGHAM HM PRACTICE

The HOPE Buffalo grant money will be used to fund the startup of a private mental health practice that services ages 12 and up with mental health medication management via telehealth. Services will be available January 1st, 2022.

Get in Touch: Daijha Fulgham, PMHNP-BC

 

Category: Social Determinants of Health

 

AHEI MT. HOPE COMMUNITY CHURCH

The African Heritage Economic Initiative Mt. HOPE Community Church will leverage their media platforms, The Community's Voice and HOPE For Today!, to assist youth with career mapping to deter behavior that results in teen pregnancy. They facilitate activities that will require thought and insight in order to show youth that their voices count, hold value, and should be heard when planning their future. They have crafted a special mentoring/career mapping initiative that will allow hands-on experience and education for those interested in careers in media communications. Youth will have the opportunity to tour the radio station, learn and work the soundboard, produce and co-host a radio show, and talk with station staff and the owner for additional career insight.

Get in Touch: Charles Walker, (716) 602-6676, Kendra Walker, (716) 909-7360

 

CANISIUS COLLEGE

They will use the funds to help develop a 20-bed community garden in a vacant lot 1635 Jefferson Avenue, between Florida Street and Northland Avenue. ​ Plans call for a community-engaged effort to cultivate a fresh vegetable garden and create a healthy gathering space for neighbors of the college. ​ A cross-section of local residents, block clubs, youth groups, and members of the faith community will build the garden, plant, manage, and tend to the vegetables throughout the growing season with support from Canisius College students. The project will begin August 2nd and conclude November 12th. It will be ongoing every year in the summer going forward.

Get in Touch: Mary R. Rockwell, Director of the New Buffalo Institute at Canisius College

 

GIRL GANG ENTERTAINMENT

With the support of HOPE Buffalo, Girl Gang Entertainment will be implementing an in-person event, Pop 'n Play. Pop 'n Play was created and launched in 2018 with the purpose of increasing access to STI screening, knowledge of STI prevention, and normalization of sexual health and identities. It is a safe, fun, party style event featuring activities that promote sexual wellness and decrease STD related stigma. They will continue to host our virtual sexual health talk via Facebook Live each month starting September 2021 and we will host the big in person Pop 'n Play in the Spring/Summer of 2022.

Get in Touch: Yanava Hawkins and Rayna Moncrieffe, 716-539-9088

 

LINCOLN UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

The Lincoln UMC Youth Empowerment Initiative will use the funds from HOPE Buffalo to provide technical communications skills to a team of youth in order to document the stories of the people in their community. They will use the power of storytelling to identify, understand, and discover solutions to community problems that impact the quality of life in their community. They will also use video to tell the story of their community and create professional quality stories to bring attention to the struggles that many people face in urban environments. In addition, the youth will develop practical solutions on how to address the root causes of these problems based on research, life experiences and the knowledge they obtain from those they interview. A special emphasis will be on public health and how current conditions impact the social determinants of health.

Get in touch: Daun Nicholas, Project Coordinator

 

Category: Supportive Services (Mentorship, Workforce Development)

 

BAD BOYS CLUB MARKETING (& LEAVING OUR LEGACY) AIDS NETWORK OF WNY

The Innovative Grant from HOPE Buffalo was used to produce a Community Block party event, and three events in the days leading up to the Block Party. Their goal was to create a Pride week in Upstate New York that specifically targets Queer POC and help people to build community networks, so that younger members of the community would be given the opportunity to find mentorship and support. The three events leading up to the Block Party were used to build momentum and educate participants on public health topics that are relevant to them.

Get in Touch:​ Tajé Jenkins-Jones, 716-418-9484

 

BRYANT & STRATTON COLLEGE BUFFALO ATHLETICS

With the use of the grant money, Bryant & Stratton College Buffalo Athletics will identify student athletes from underserved communities in the Buffalo area and provide tours of the college campus, to further explore pathways to education and career development in preparation for life after college. This program ran from May 1st, 2021, to June 30th, 2021.

Get in Touch: Damone Brown, Athletic Director

 

DREAMERSCORP INC

The funds from the HOPE Buffalo grant will be used to expand services to DreamersCorp programs by offering their students technical internships as web developers by building websites for minority-owned businesses in Buffalo that have suffered due to COVID. This will further give the Dreamers the ability to graduate high school with real experience on their resumes to compete in the technology sector after high school. This will also give Black businesses the ability to get free websites for e-commerce and product and services to have better representation and reach on the internet while giving them the tools to be successful online while reaching new customers.

Get in Touch: Nigel Brown

 

FOSTERING GREATNESS INC

Fostering Greatness will use the funds to assist foster care youth, young adults and alumni as they attend and complete a workforce development program that offers pre-apprenticeship training specifically for the foster care population. They will assist the foster youth through the process by utilizing a wraparound services model that is inclusive of childcare, location, transportation and focusing on case management needs of the participants. The funding will assist Fostering Greatness Inc. with proactively and successfully removing barriers to acquire the necessary skills for foster care youth, young adults and alumni to be marketable and employable while also assisting them with life sustainability goals

Get in Touch: Leah Angel Daniel, 716-228-3824

 

HISPANIC HERITAGE COUNCIL

The Hispanic Heritage Council Guitar Initiative will be offering guitar/music classes and a workshop that teaches children how to build musical instruments from recycled material. They will use the funds from the HOPE Buffalo grant to pay for materials and teachers’ salaries for our afterschool classes and workshops. Classes will begin on Monday, September 27 and will meet weekly on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. The Fall semester will finish on December 9 with a student concert.

Get in Touch: Dr. Ricardo Saeb, Director, 859.285.3949

 

MOST VALUABLE PARENTS (MVP) OF BUFFALO

The MVP of Buffalo will use the HOPE Buffalo grant towards the Life Skills and Drills Program. This program engages participants in an intensive workshop series that addresses the reality of gang affiliation, equips participants with proven strategies to negate peer pressure, and builds character through team dynamics. This program will provide the young participants with substantial tools and methods to work with, so that they are able to handle difficult situations such as peer pressure and gang affiliation; while at the same time allowing them to learn basic basketball skills while doing something they love.

Get in Touch: Mia Ayers Goss, Executive Director, 716-335-3640

 

PILGRIM BAPTIST CHURCH OF BUFFALO NY/KBS ENTERTAINMENT

The funds from HOPE Buffalo were used to bring the community together for a safe, fun-filled COVID-19 memorial concert featuring a Grammy-winning musician.

Get in Touch: Frank Bostic

 

POLICE ATHLETIC LEAGUE

Buffalo PAL is pleased to invest a $3,000 grant award from HOPE Buffalo into providing City of Buffalo youth entering grades 7-12 with 6-weeks of free Youth Opportunity Connect Programming (YOCP) that focuses on Literacy, Workforce Development, Financial Literacy, Resume Writing, College Readiness, and Field Trips to College Campuses, local businesses, and cultural organizations. Students who are in Middle School and High School are able to receive structured classes that focus on helping them improve their academic performance and obtain the skill sets they need to enter Internships, apply for Jobs, and attend College after the graduate from High School. HOPE Buffalo's grant award is especially instrumental in helping Buffalo PAL incorporate educational programming into the YOCP curriculum that emphasizes the importance of educating co-ed youth (ages 13-19) about physical health as well as social/emotional health and well-being.

Get in Touch: Nekia Kemp, Executive Director of Buffalo PAL,

Chardenay Hunter, Program Director for YOCP

 

PREVENTATIVE HEALTHCARE

Preventative Healthcare will use the HOPE Buffalo Innovative Partners grant to create various educational programs for members of the Buffalo community. The program will range in topics and include sessions like CPR training, childcare classes, personal care classes, etc. They will also offer health screening services.

Get in Touch: Sonya Brackett, 716-408-6955

2020 Innovation Partner Awardees

BESTSELF BEHAVIORAL HEALTH, INC.

They will use funds to support its Building Brighter Futures program, now being offered virtually. The program centers on positive youth development and empowerment, social-emotional learning, social connection, creative expression, career and college exploration, academic support, and making healthy choices.

Get in Touch: Jillian King

 

BUFFALO CENTER FOR ARTS AND TECHNOLOGY, INC.

They will further its youth arts program using the funds to support a new program called “Exploring Identify through Mobile Phone Photography.”

Get in Touch: Gina Burkhardt

 

CITY HONORS/FOSDICK MASTEN PARK FOUNDATION

They will provide hands-on learning opportunities to explore the connections between food, health, and the environment via the Pelion Garden.

Get in Touch: Caesandra Seawell

 

CONFIDENT GIRL MENTORING PROGRAM, INC

They will use funds to support the development of a Confident Girl mobile app to provide another way to inspire hope and connectivity in girls.

Get in Touch: Tiffany Lewis

 

EASTSIDE GREEN

They will use funds to support their Leaf it at the Table initiative, which allows Eastside Green to purchase the fresh produce for teenagers to purchase at a reduced price. This fresh produce also comes with education from dietitians. This program will be moving virtual, and the fund provided will support that.

Get in Touch: Malkijah Griffiths

 

ERIE 1 B.O.C.E.S.: LEAVING OUR LEGACY

They will use the funds to support their yearly youth-led event Legacy Sound and Fx. This World AIDS Day event is a youth-led event bringing together local artists in the community to showcase their talent. During the event, youth are offered H.I.V. and S.T.I. Testing and prevention education.

Get in Touch: Sue Donovan

 

LA LIGA DE MUJERES HISPANAS

They will use the funds to further their healthy lifestyle program, which is a full-day event connecting Latinx youth who identify as female to tools and education in the areas of mental and physical health, diet, sleep, and finances.

Get in Touch: Natalia Land

 

LUTHERAN CHURCH OF OUR SAVIOR

They will support area youth to each deliver 30 acts of kindness across Buffalo during this summer. They will be supplemented with virtual programming.

Get in Touch: Barbara Glover

 

THE FORCE FOR HEALTH® NETWORK

They will continue the development of a community-driven web application, which will be a fluid resource with local control to modify and update daily by HOPE Buffalo youth looking for services and/or community partners providing updates. This will enhance our Referral and Linkage system with opportunities for expansion.

Get in Touch: Rob Gillio

 

POLICE ATHLETIC LEAGUE OF BUFFALO, INC

This organization will provide virtual summer fitness programming and will provide equipment to youth most at need.

Get in Touch: Judith Sperry

 

PURSUE YOUR IT INC

They will use the funds to support Buffalo youth being enrolled in The Pursue Your It Project, which is an online program created for middle school and high school students that promotes health education, social-emotional learning, preventative health behavior development, and provides an opportunity for youth voices to be heard.

Get in Touch: Cindy Miller

 

SUSTAINABLE HEALTH SOLUTIONS

They will use the information collected by Buffalo Public Schools in the Youth Risk Behavior Survey to develop communications for youth. Often the information collected isn’t relayed to students. Sustainable solutions will develop youth-focused messages for posters to be used in schools.

Get in Touch: Dr. Sue Baldwin

 

THE SHIFT & CREW L.L.C.

They will use funds to award scholarships to students pursuing a degree in S.T.E.A.M. Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math.

Get in Touch: Aimé Mukendi Jr.

 

U.B. SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH PROFESSIONS

They will offer public health and health professions winter camp to expose high school students to opportunities in health fields. The goal is to help prepare and recruit high school students of color to public health and health profession careers and improve diversity among students seeking careers in public health and health professions at the University at Buffalo.

Get in Touch: Heather Orom

 

U.B. SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK

They will use the funding to provide incentives for youth to participate in focus groups that explore the obstacles Buffalo youth experience when trying to exercise their sexual rights and access to sexual resources (e.g., getting the sexual health care and support that New York State law promises them).

Get in touch: Laina Bay-Cheng

 

WEST SIDE COMMUNITY SERVICES

They will enhance their mentoring program, which provides support for academics, exploration of interests such as art, music, and sports and support with behavior management and social skills, as well as exposure and learning of new cultures, personalities, and experiences.

Get in Touch: Kate Hilliman

NATIVE AMERICAN COMMUNITY SERVICES

MOCA is a discussion based mentoring program to empower youth to take control of their sexual health. This workshop series is for youth led by their Peer Educators Empowering People, PEEPs, program and is open to high school students between the ages of 14-18 years old. This is a 8 week discussion series for youth that will take place virtually every Monday from October 26th through December 14th.

Get in Touch: Kailin Kucewicz

TAKE THE PLEDGE

As a member of the Buffalo community, I commit to the aspirations of the HOPE Buffalo initiative to help our teens grow into the adults they want to be. Collectively, we can build a promising future for the City of Buffalo!

60 Hedley Pl
Buffalo, NY 14208

716-346.3006 ext 705

The project described was supported by Grant Number1 TP1AH000213-01-00 from the HHS Office of Population Affairs. Contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Department of Health and Human Services or the Office of Population Affairs.

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