Neighborhood SUCCESS Grants, a program of the Raymond John Wean Foundation, has awarded more than $30,000 to eight Mahoning County resident-led organizations.

Several of the groups are former grant recipients, while three are first-time grantees.

“The foundation has supported our efforts to improve homeownership standards and advance the interests of residents in our service area for more than three years,” said Danielle Anderson, director of communications and programs at the Northeast Homeowners and Concerned Citizens Association, Youngstown.

“With the $5,000 prize, part of the funding will be used to implement two new gardens. The remaining portion will be used to purchase equipment and supplies to provide snow and ice removal services – an effort to extend the NHCCA’s youth employment program through the winter months and foster collaboration with organizations, businesses and local residents.

Various projects, all focused on racial equity and inclusion, have received grants:

• Boulevard Park Block Watch — Boulevard Park Phase IV, to bring together neighbors from diverse backgrounds through community building activities that include blueberry patch maintenance, landscaping and neighborhood gatherings;

• Chess is Life — Zulu boxing, mentoring, physical conditioning and boxing as a strategy to support student success inside and outside the classroom;

• Dare to Dream Children’s Foundation — CultureConnect, which helps qualified households to purchase electronic devices and access the Internet;

• Detroit Pemberton Neighborhood Association — Pemberton Park Vacant Lot Beautification, a beautification project to build on improvements to a vacant lot adjacent to the park.

• Know Your Neighbor Block Watch — KYN: Expanding the Potential of our Youth-Benita Avenue Project, to expand the potential of local youth by providing quality hands-on training in helping elderly and disabled people with gardening and maintaining the general exterior of the house;

• Lit Youngstown — Visiting Writers-in-Residence on Black Poetry and History, to host three weekends featuring prominent regional writers and a local historian;

• Northeast Homeowners and Concerned Citizens Association — NHCCA Year-Around Neighborhood Beautification, a project designed to control waste, provide security services and beautify green spaces in their area.

• Will RESPECT Inc.—From Beefin to Brotherhood Mentoring Project, to host a series of community forums to explore, discuss, and seek to resolve long-standing conflicts between youth and young adults to reduce and eliminate the potential for violence within the community.

Funded projects align with previously identified resident priorities and central racial equity and inclusion in their work, expand resident engagement and leadership, and strengthen community, collaboration and connections among residents, a declared the foundation. These grassroots community builders leverage the resources that exist in their communities to improve the quality of life in their neighborhoods.

“Know Your Neighbor knows the value of collaboration that the Wean Foundation encourages. Youth, residents, supervisors, KYN members, city groups and various agencies are all important to the success of this project,” said organization member Joyce Davidson.

“With history comes history, and through the Black History and Poetry Workshop, we aim to honor, celebrate and capture the voices of our community. Through the Neighborhood SUCCESS grant, residents will become neighbors by learning together and sharing stories with each other,” said Katie Urs, Development Coordinator, Lit Youngstown.

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