Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation Awards $636,000 in Grants
Grants Focus on Full Inclusion of Young People with Disabilities.
The Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation has announced $139,000 in new grants for two national projects that serve young people with disabilities. Continuing multiyear projects will receive $349,000 in 2007 funds. An additional $148,000 will be given in matching grants and matching gifts to organizations selected by Mitsubishi Electric US employees in the communities where they live and work.
The Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation is dedicated to helping young people with disabilities maximize their potential and participation in society. With its new round of grants, the Foundation continues to build on its Inclusive Initiative begun three years ago. The initiative focuses on helping “mainstream” organizations, such as Boys and Girls Clubs of America, make their programs more accommodating of and attractive to disabled youth, while working to change attitudes among people without disabilities.
“More doors are opening to young people with disabilities, but there is still much to do,” says Rayna Aylward, executive director of the Foundation. “Building on the model projects and best practices developed by our grant partners over the past three years, the Foundation has begun reaching out to new youth-serving organizations to encourage them to develop activities in which all children and youth can take part.”
In this third phase of the Inclusion Initiative, the Foundation will begin working with schools and community service organizations, as well as continue its support of organizations serving youth through employment, mentoring, recreation and leadership development programs. The first new award is a three-year/$122,000 grant to The Corps Network, for a project to engage youth with disabilities in inclusive work teams conducting community service projects across the U.S. The second award is a one-year/$17,000 grant to Special Olympics, Inc. for two projects: a pilot program to create an Interscholastic Unified Sports© League, which will bring Special Olympians and young athletes without disabilities together for inter-school sports in Pennsylvania, and the first-ever inclusive community service day for 1,800 student leaders from across the U.S. who will be attending the National Association of Student Councils Conference in Kansas in June.
Continuing grants include the Embracing Inclusion project--now in its forth year—which partners the Boys & Girls Clubs of America with the San Diego-based Kids Included Together (KIT), to develop inclusion training materials for use in Clubs throughout the U.S. Wilderness Inquiry, a Minneapolis-based recreation service provider for people of all abilities, is in the third and final year of its project to help the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts promote inclusion. Partners for Youth with Disabilities, based in Boston, is in the second year of its grant to develop a model of inclusive mentoring in Massachusetts, and has launched a national mentoring campaign in partnership with Harvard University. Easter Seals, headquartered in Chicago, is completing its three-year project to help its affiliates collaborate with community-based mainstream organizations to enable more youth with disabilities to participate in community recreation and parks programs.
Other multi-year projects include Project SEARCH, based at Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati, which continues its successful model of training and placing young people with severe cognitive disabilities in competitive employment in the healthcare and banking industries. The Washington, DC-based American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) will conduct the sixth year of the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation Congressional Internship Program, which provides summer internships on Capitol Hill to college students with disabilities. The Foundation also continues to support AAPD with an annual $10,000 grant for the Paul G. Hearne Leadership Award, which honors emerging leaders in the disability field. [A summary of the grants follows].
The Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation, based in the Washington, DC area, was established in 1991 by Mitsubishi Electric Corporation of Japan and the Mitsubishi Electric U.S. companies, which produce, sell and distribute a wide range of consumer, industrial, commercial and professional electronics products. With a current endowment of $20 million, the Foundation has contributed nearly $8 million to organizations assisting young Americans with disabilities to lead fuller and more productive lives.
For more information, please visit the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation’s fully accessible website at www.meaf.org.
MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC AMERICA FOUNDATION
2007 NATIONAL GRANTS
The Corps Network (three-year grant) $122,000
Supports the development of an inclusive crew model, giving opportunities for youth with disabilities to engage in volunteer service activities and develop leadership skills.
Special Olympics, Inc. (one-year grant) $17,000
Funds a pilot project to develop an Interscholastic Unified Sports League, bringing together young athletes with and without disabilities in inclusive, inter-school sports activities, and supports an inclusive community service project at the 2007 National Association of Student Councils Conference, in Kansas in June.
American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)
(third year of a three-year grant) $76,000
This grant funds the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation/AAPD Congressional Internship Program, which provides summer internships on Capitol Hill for college students with disabilities.
AAPD (second year of three-year grant) $10,000
Helps fund the Paul G. Hearne Leadership Award, recognizing outstanding young leaders in the disability field.
Boys & Girls Clubs of America (second year of a two-year grant) $66,000
Funds enable BGCA to continue its initiative to provide awareness, staff training and outreach to youth with disabilities, working in partnership with Kids Included Together.
Kids Included Together (KIT) (two-year grant) $50,000
Funds the development of an inclusion training program for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
Partners for Youth with Disabilities (second year of a two-year grant) $86,000
Supports the development of a national inclusion mentoring project to create inclusive mentoring opportunities for young people with disabilities.
Project SEARCH (second year of a three-year grant) $31,000
Funds support Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in implementing training programs in the health care and banking fields, aimed at providing competitive employment for young people with severe cognitive disabilities.
Easter Seals (third year of a three-year project)
Partnerships between community-based recreation providers and six Easter Seals affiliates will develop model inclusion strategies to be replicated throughout the Easter Seals national network. As part of the project, Easter Seals hosts and maintains the website www.includingallkids.org, a comprehensive resource on inclusion.
Wilderness Inquiry (third year of three-year project)
Replicates an inclusive outdoor educational and recreational program for youth with and without disabilities in Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops across the country.
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