How would Brooklyn’s youth reclaim a space?
National Grid, the British multinational utility company that serves over 20 million people throughout New York and Massachusetts, is launching a competition to award a $25,000 grant that will go towards upgrading space for youth programs.
The funds will go to the Brooklyn-based non-profit with the best proposal on how to improve the space of their choice.
In addition to the winner, five runners will each receive $5,000 grants to refresh more spaces — whether it be with equipment, for facility renovations or other ameliorations.
Through this grant, National Grid is aiming to “bring young people together to inspire, uplift and create inclusive change,” said Renee McClure, the company’s director for Community and Customer Engagement.
A committee of judges made up of representatives of the company and Brooklyn community leaders, including the Brooklyn Community Foundation, will select the six projects that closely align with the fight for social and racial justice.
Project C, the company’s division in charge of the contest, is a wing of the utility company designed to create neighborhood positive impact and strengthen communities.
The organization Citizens Committee for Children found in a 2021 survey that 35% of the city’s youth report needing mental health services, only 42% reported receiving them.
Being part of a supportive community is beneficial for mental health — and research shows that attractive public spaces are a catalyst for building cohesive neighborhoods.
Applicants have until March 17, 2023, to submit an application with a two-minute video explaining their project and why their organization deserves to win. The finalists will be posted online for the community to vote for a winter from Apr. 10 to 14.
“We have plans to expand and engage neighborhoods across New York State as the program grows,” said McClure.