"Any individual has the capacity to be a philanthropist."

-- Dr. Johnnetta Cole, RWF Awards' Luncheon Speaker

2007 Grant Recipients

Project Access – for the purchase of medications and diabetic supplies such as insulin pumps, kits and strips for their low-income, uninsured adult patients. The $30,000 grant will focus on providing access to specialty medical care by connecting patients with specialists and by supplying them with the medications they need. In the three years of their existence, Project Access has enrolled some 470 physicians and 42 dentists and is the only organization in the Roanoke area that provides access to specialty medical care. The Virginia Health Care Foundation estimates some 30,000 persons in the Roanoke area live with no health insurance. Many of them are eligible for services of Project Access, not as a long-term solution, but as a way for them to maintain their health while re-establishing some stability and independence. In its three years, the program has enrolled 1389 patients and delivered more than $5 million in free healthcare through its volunteer physician providers. These specialists range across all branches of medicine, from general surgery and dentistry to urology and radiology. 

Community Youth Program at St. John’s, Inc. – CYP Rise-Up! Project. CYP will use the $30,000 RWF grant for a comprehensive music program that will provide important opportunities for CYP youth. CYP was started 9 years ago with a mission "to encourage learning and the development of a positive self-image, and to provide a network of support for middle school children and their families." The CYP Rise-Up! Project will offer weekly one-hour music lessons throughout the school year for the CYP groups at St. John’s and from the satellite program at Kingdom Life Ministries. The project will take place at Quest Academy studios that is equipped to provide each student with their own instrument. Students will participate in a weekend clinic with an expert in world percussion and participate in two performances at the Jefferson Center. They will also travel to the Panorama Caribbean Music Fest held in Virginia Beach. A study conducted by the Nellie Maie Education Foundation concluded that youth benefit from consistent participation in well-run, quality after school programs. The study also found that these programs can increase engagement in learning and educational equity and that youth who spend a sustained period of time in arts programs spend more time reading for pleasure, have higher mathematics and reading achievement, are more involved in school and within the larger community, have higher expectations for their future and an ability to plan for their future.

Apple Ridge Farm, Inc. – Aspire 2016 Program. A $70,000 RWF grant will be used for the Aspire 2016 program designed to focus on the educational development of 125 children in five Roanoke City Schools – with their parents’ commitment to involvement – from 2007 through 2016. The program will follow the children through high school graduation, meanwhile involving their families in skills and educational programs for their own growth. The program aims to improve reading and SOL scores at the selected schools and also aims to connect education and to make connections between higher education and careers. By focusing on family involvement with the school, as well as building the parents’ skills, the program hopes to address the decline in academic performance from third through eighth grades in city schools.

Family Service of Roanoke Valley – A $40,000 RWF grant will be used for a capital project creating an expanded family mental health center in downtown Roanoke. In Phase I of the project, Family Service purchased a vacant downtown building as a new service facility for area families. The RWF grant will provide needed capital for Phase II that will involve renovations of the second floor that will add another 9000 square feet of specialized program space and significantly increase the area’s mental health service capacity. With the expansion, Family Service plans to increase staffing with graduate student interns from Virginia Tech, Radford and other area counseling education programs. According to a report prepared by the Council of Community Services in 2006, the #1 unmet need in the Roanoke Valley for the past 3 years is mental health. In addition, "affordable counseling services and treatment programs for families and children" were cited as the services most in need of expansion. RWF funds will be used to pay design and construction expenses incurred in the renovation of the second floor of the facility.

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