January 13, 2022

The Epstein Community Foundation (ECF) is excited to announce the four $5,000 grant winners for 2021! We received 29 impressive and qualified applications, which made the decision process very difficult.

The following is the list of recipients:

  • Chicago Engineers Foundation has the mission to encourage and empower young people to become the next generation of engineers through scholarship opportunities, outreach to educational institutions, and promoting interest in engineering as a career. ECF is supporting their Engineering Futures Career Development Program. This program provides engineering college students with tools including virtual networking and in-person workshops, resume and interview skills sessions, personalized resume evaluations, mentoring opportunities, peer/professional networking, corporate tours, and individualized internship position searches.
  • Territory NFP is a creative youth development organization providing skill building programs in urban design for young people ages 14-19. Since 2012, they have worked with over 500 youth in studio programs lasting six to ten weeks. This is the second grant Territory NFP has received from ECF. We will be helping to fund the Save HavenGarden Design-Build team. The purpose of this project is to create a safe, welcoming outdoor space for local residents and teens to gather and relax, while simultaneously giving young people the urban design and project management skills to continue empowering themselves and their community. Because Westhaven Park is adjacent to the United Center and just west of Fulton Market, some teens have expressed worries related to a sense of belonging, personal safety, disconnection, and displacement. Creating a place by and for local teens in the community will bolster a sense of belonging while developing local talent.
  • The Carole Robertson Center for Learning has provided high-quality year-round services to youth residing primarily in the low-income communities of North Lawndale and South Lawndale/Little Village since 1976. The grant provided by ECF will provide woodworking tools for students in grades 6 through 8 and Tinkrworks STEM kits for students of all ages. These materials will be used throughout several cycles of a 10-week STEM-intensive course. Supplying the classrooms with these materials will equip their instructors with the tools necessary to excite their students about STEM and provide hands-on learning that is directly relevant to the lives of the students, who are often left behind in traditional STEM classrooms.
  • Gardeneers, founded in 2014, has partnered with a network of elementary and high schools, primarily on the West and South sides of Chicago, in under-resourced communities that face barriers to fresh, healthy food access. Their full-service, customized school garden and farm programs reach 1,800 K-12 students each year through spring, summer, and fall 10-week programs at +/- 20 schools each year. The garden curriculum is based on three pillars of learning: supporting student nutrition, experiencing nature, and connecting with communities. ECF’s grant will help to fund the infrastructure repair at Gardeneers Homan Rails Farm. It will ensure they will have an updated farm that grows both fresh produce and students’ learning to its full potential.

We can’t wait to work with everyone to continue to give back to our community in 2022!