Together, with the support of our donors, the DeKalb County Community Foundation is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in DeKalb County, IL. Grants from the Community Foundation come from a variety of grant programs. Each program is unique in how to apply, who it supports, and the impact it creates. So how do these grants impact the community in which we live? Learn more in this grant in action story below!
In 2018, DeKalb resident Tiffany Tucker brought to fruition an idea she had been contemplating for years. “When I was younger, I saw and heard of youth who took their life due to challenging and difficult circumstances,” she said. “It made me realize, no child should struggle alone.” This sense of belonging created Building Leaders Advocating for Change (B.L.A.C. Inc.), a DeKalb-based nonprofit organization with a mission to build confidence and self-worth in young men and women through leadership development, mental health support, education, and community service opportunities.
B.L.A.C. Inc. approached the Community Foundation in spring 2021 and requested funding through the Community Needs Grant program. The Foundation approved a $6,800 grant to expand their TEENTALK program.
From concept to inception the TEENTALK program seeks to improve life for at-risk and vulnerable teens. TEENTALK events allow teens an opportunity to express feelings and struggles while providing solutions and resources. Program offerings include interactive seminars, field trips, discussion groups, and community service events. Some B.L.A.C. programs collaborate with local service agencies to ensure that high-level needs are addressed. Over the last few months, program attendance and engagement in B.L.A.C. has increased with 32 new youth taking part. The June 2021 mobile escape room is an example of this success, tying in leadership development and teamwork. Another was the Speak Your Truth summer camp, which gave attendees a chance to speak up and speak out through poetry, vision boards, and storytelling.
“We believe we are providing a life-changing program that will enhance their well-being.”
Tiffany Tucker – B.L.A.C. Inc. Founder/Executive Director
Thank you to the donors whose gifts make grants like these possible!Donate to the DeKalb County Community Endowment Fund >