Announcing 14 Youth Healing Project Awardees

To effectively dismantle inequitable systems and replace them with systems that promote the health and happiness of our young people, we must support the leadership of young people. Young people, and particularly young people of color, face many barriers to power. Yet they have some of the most critical and immediate insights into the challenges that young people are facing.

The Youth Healing Project is a youth-led community funding effort, originally developed in 2020 in response to the survey “In Their Own Words: Young People Describe the Impacts of COVID-19.” The project provides resources and support to small grassroots young leaders advancing solutions that improve the mental health, connection, and wellbeing of young people ages 14-24 in King County. Partners include King County Reconnect to Opportunity, Public Health-Seattle and King County’s Cannabis, Tobacco, and Prevention Program, Best Starts for Kids, citiesRISE, and the Community Center for Education Results.

One way we work to share power is through our Youth Healing Project awards that fund young people directly with small grants to launch their own projects. The Youth Healing Project focuses on funding projects that support the mental health of young people.

We are thrilled to announce the 14 awardees of our Youth Healing Project request for proposals (RFP).

Announcing the 14 Awardees

A Sacred Passings- Kaleb Kalkidan and Alan Nguyen

Geeking Out Kids of Color- George Zhang, Emily Morado, and Heven Ambachew

Heart and Hustle Academy- Anthony Serrano

Joy & the Hood- Clarissa Perez

Kandelia- Cielo Martinez

Kiks for Cool Kids- Tairyn Ahshai

Knitting for Needs- Sadye Derstadt

Na’ah Illahee Fund- Tatiwyat Buck

SanArte Healing Through Arts- Osvaldo Serrano and Hever Bustos

SG Education Consulting- Josue Silva Cortez

Student Connection- Joshua Wolters

Teen.Self.Health- Laney Brackett

The Good Foots Arts Collective- Ayiana Hernandez- Kiehn and Layla Muktar

Worth a Shot- Mehr Grewal

The Youth Healing Projects

Young people proposed ideas that reflected deep care, expertise, and creativity. A young person is launching Knitting for Needs, a project designed so young people could learn to knit and create knitted and crocheted items to donate to organizations that support people who are homeless.

In their words, “Knitting is a relaxing task that has the power to improve individual mental health. On top of that, the knitting groups will build positive communities that act as support networks and a means to kindle new relationships. Positive interactions with others that are equally determined and passionate can lift spirits, form new bonds, and see similarities and understanding—all factors that improve mental health.”

A pair of young friends are working together to build the healing project SanArte which approaches mental health recovery from an indigenous perspective.

In their words, “My roots are indigenous from Puebla, Mexico. The way my ancestors view healing is completely different from the ways folks heal in the US. We heal in community. We heal by reconnecting with the land, with our elders, with community, we heal by sharing food and knowledge. Our bodies carry transgenerational trauma and our own trauma. SanArte focuses on collective healing and body movement. Creating art together is a way to allow us to release stress, fears, and to allow our bodies to move our energy. We will dance cumbia together, make pinatas and art for our day of the death altars.”

Read about the Youth Healing Projects in the young peoples’ own words

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