Nearly a Half-Million Dollars in Youth-Development Grants Announced by NextUp and the City

The statistics are as tragic as they are shocking. A total of 169 minors have been shot in the City of Richmond since 2019, a reality that has prompted some get-tough responses among City leaders that includes youth curfews and augmented police presence in “hot spots.”

But research tells us there’s another approach to reducing gun violence: strengthening community by providing community-based programs for the City’s middle and high schoolers. Toward that end, the City – through its partnership with local nonprofit NextUp RVA – recently announced close to a half-million dollars in grants focused on youth development programs, including STEM summer camps, career exploration and youth mentorship. The funds come from the City of Richmond’s Gun Violence Prevention and Intervention Framework. 

In announcing the $493,628 grants to 42 grassroots and community organizations, Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney said, “It is important that we provide a diversity of opportunities for youth across our entire city – and that is exactly what NextUp has done by working with our community partners.”

Founded in 2013, NextUp has developed an out-of-school system focusing on providing after-school enrichment programs for youth, especially students in middle school. The organization works with a network of community partners, including area businesses who help provide funding and other resources.

The programs receiving support target youth aged 12 to 19 and provide opportunities to learn, grow and develop in a safe and supportive environment.

“Quality out-of-school time programs are a critical preventive measure in combatting gun violence in Richmond,” said Dr. Traymanesha Lamy, president and CEO of NextUp. “NextUp is committed to investing in our young people and working closely with youth, families and program providers to ensure out-of-school-time opportunities are both safe and accessible.”

The 42 grants will support more than 3,000 Richmond youth, giving them access to a range of summer programs, from baseball and swimming, to art and cooking classes to leadership development initiatives. 

You can find a complete list of the grant recipients here

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