The Skills Center, a Black-owned nonprofit in Florida, has earned a $800,000 grant to create programs that seek to empower young girls. Awarded through the Department of Health and Human Services, the Youth Engagement in Sports Grant will help the program service nearly 600 girls from through 2021.
“The skill center is a Black-owned non-for-profit, and the ultimate goal is to teach transferable skills,” The Skills Center Co-Founder Chris Ward said.
“This grant now allows us to deliver the girls healthy meal prep every week, grant access to full-service gyms with workout groups, and provide Fitbit watches to monitor their health."
In addition, the program provides the a safe space for students to vent and address issues in their life in a productive manner.
“It’s a place where we can talk about stuff that actually happens,” The Skills Center participant Nyela Sims said.
“Like, this guy called me the N-word the other day at work because he said his food was taking too long.”
Sims is a high school junior in the Tampa area. As she nears her senior year, the center also helps find her assistance with college planning.
“If she’s a junior now, we have to start planning," Tampa Yes Ambassador Felicia Bell.
The program currently works in six-month intervals. Thus far, the program has graduated its first class of 100 girls and is working with its second group of young women. As the year comes to an end, The Skills Center is looking for 100 more girls to join in.
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