Three East Boston organizations will join forces after recently receiving grant money from the Baker-Polito Administration’s Community Empowerment and Reinvestment (CER) Grant Program.
The $500,000 in grant money to ZUMIX, Eastie Farm and East Boston High School was part of $20 million in state grants to 62 organizations, which will use the money to invest in communities that have historically faced disproportionate challenges to economic growth.
Through the grant, ZUMIX, Eastie Farm and East Boston High School will join forces to build new connections between young people in the neighborhood and leverage shared cultural spaces to provide creative and green jobs.
ZUMIX co-founder and executive director oMadeleine Steczynski said over the years ZUMIX has been committed to empowering young people through artistic expression, academic support, and creative workforce development so that young people can stay and thrive in the neighborhood. Working with East Boston High School and Eastie Farm, ZUMIX’s goal is to expand young people’s economic opportunities and welcome a more sustainable, entrepreneurial, and connected Eastie.
“Since inception, ZUMIX has been committed to expanding opportunities for young people,” said Steczynski,. “In this new partnership with Eastie Farm and East Boston High School – organizations that are both doing incredible work – CER support will allow us to build connections and provide opportunities for all our youth to earn money while developing their leadership and professional skills.”
In its inaugural award round, the CER Grant Program is supporting projects and programming that are designed to respond to community-defined economic opportunities within eligible communities like Eastie.
“Certain communities face unique challenges but also have the local assets and expertise to develop solutions,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “By using this program to tap directly into those resources, we can position these trusted organizations for success in their efforts to strengthen their communities from within.”
The competitive, one-year grants support applicants seeking to address issues in communities that have historically faced disproportionate challenges to economic growth. To achieve the program’s equity goals, projects in locations that have experienced high rates of incarceration and widespread poverty, or are in communities with traditionally disadvantaged and underrepresented populations, were prioritized.
“As the inaugural round of grant recipients demonstrates, the Community Empowerment and Reinvestment Grant Program is a powerful source of assistance to address a wide range of needs with specific solutions developed by community leaders, coalitions, and established organizations that are known to, and live among, the people and neighborhoods they serve,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “Through this grant program, we can harness that existing human capital and accelerate progress toward addressing those needs.”