The City of Davis has announced the implementation of a new program that is designed to serve local youth.
The Teen Services Grant Program will provide funding for existing organizations and community programs that offer mentorship and the development of leadership skills to children aged 12 to 18 years.
Anne Marquez, community services supervisor for the City of Davis, said that the city hopes to make a good impact in its first year of the program.
“Our goals are to promote, support and assist programs that cater to teens in our community,” she said.
The program is based off of the Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets for Adolescents. In addition to providing teens with extracurricular opportunities, the City of Davis seeks to promote strong community ties and personal growth. Marquez said that the city also aims to educate kids on how to make responsible decisions that will keep them out of trouble.
This initiative comes two years after the city council voted to replace the Teen Center, located Third and B Streets, with the Davis Bicycle Hall of Fame. At the time, a youth interest survey was taken which indicated that only 24 percent of the teens questioned said that they had been to the Teen Center in the previous six months. Many cited lack of interest as a primary reason.
During the debate on whether or not to close the Teen Center in 2009, Lamar Heystek, who was a councilmember at the time, said that teen programs were not successful because they did not receive any funding. Today, the city is confident that the Teen Services Grant Program will greatly assist organizations that have already proved to be effective in the community.
Marquez explained that to qualify for a grant from the city, an organization must be based in Yolo County. Other requirements include at least three years of operation, and the involvement of a membership base that is made up of a minimum of 75 percent residents aged 12 to 18 years.
Upon review of the grant applications, the city is prepared to give out as much as $10,000 per year to a single organization. Contracts are for seven years, in which time an organization could receive as much as $70,000. The amount of money awarded will be based on financial need and the size of the organization.
Programs and organizations that are interested in applying for the Teen Grant Service Program must turn in their applications to the City of Davis by Jan. 25. Grants will be dispersed in March after being approved by the city council.
CHLOE BREZSNY can be reached at email@example.com.