The City of Mount Vernon is the only municipality in New York State to receive the READY4LIFE grant from the Department of Health & Human Services. The funding will be distributed over five years, amounting to $3.7 million, and will be a tremendous aid to the Youth Bureau, which receives 75% of their $3 million operating budget from grants.
Debbie Burrell-Butler, Executive Director of the Mount Vernon Youth Bureau, said, “I am elated to be the only city in New York State to have received the READY4LIFE grant. All those late nights and working on the weekends with Kenyatta Funderburk finally paid off. In 55 years, the READY4LIFE grant is the largest federal grant and second-largest overall received within the Department. This highly competitive grant adds to the Youth Bureau’s operating budget and its continued success.” said Burrell-Butler.
She continued by stating that this award wouldn’t have been possible without the assistance of Community Change, Inc. (CCI). CCI’s fund development service supports organizations in writing proposals for funding to serve youth, families, and communities. CCI’s fund development service has raised nearly $35 million for its clients and programs since 2009.
The READY4LIFE Program will help fund programs geared at assisting 1,100 high school students in grades 9-12 (ages 14-18) in building healthy relationship skills, supporting positive social and emotional development. It will also aide youth transitioning from adolescence to young adults and help young people with job and career advancement.
Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard said, “The City of Mount Vernon continues to demonstrate its resilience with our continued services for the residents and programs for our youth. I am truly thankful for the extraordinary work done by Director Burrell-Butler and her outstanding staff for their tireless efforts in securing this money. These funds will go a long way in supporting and uplifting Mount Vernon’s Youth.”