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Stone Leaders for Change
Grants Awarded

Year Organization and Summary Amount Location Description
2023 Make the Road, New York-Sarah Landes, Co-Director of YPP $10,000 Brooklyn, NY

Make the Road New York is a membership-based community organization operating in New York City with a focus on building the power of the City’s low-income and immigrant population using a multi-issue, multi-generational model of organizing, including its youth-led organizing program, the Youth Power Project. Sarah Landes is Youth Power Project Coordinator at Make the Road and has been working extensively to support youth-led action, particularly around the issues of education justice and dismantling the Prison Industrial Complex for over 10-years. As a Stone Leaders for Change, Sarah is working to build the leadership pipeline of the organization through coaching support, with an emphasis on addressing the deep need to support BIPOC, queer, women and gender non-conforming leaders in developing the tools necessary to successfully lead.

2023 Communities United, Maria Degillo, VOYCE Coordinator & Youth Director $10,000 Chicago, IL

Communities United develops community leadership to build a shared root cause analysis of problems impacting their communities, to develop and advance innovative power-building strategies, and to engage in creating transformative systems change. Maria Degillo serves as both the Youth Director for Communities United and the Coordinator of Voices of Youth in Chicago Education (VOYCE). During her time with the organization, Maria has helped to push some of CU’s most groundbreaking work, including the passing of SB 2793 that required the collection and reporting of suspensions and expulsions in schools and SB 100 that ended the use of zero tolerance and exclusionary discipline in schools across the state of Illinois. As a Stone Leader for Change, Maria is working to document both the personal and professional impact of being a part of youth leadership work with a focus on the sustainability of youth leadership and an examination of how narratives impact policy.

2022 Communities United, Jenny Awade & Raul Botello, Executive Directors $10,000 Chicago, IL

Communities United develops community leadership to build a shared root cause analysis of problems impacting their communities, to develop and advance innovative power-building strategies, and to engage in creating transformative systems change. Co-Executive Directors Jenny Arwade and Raul Botello as Stone Leader(s) for Change will explore and document the evolution CU has experienced in its 20-year history as a healing-centered organization through seeing the power of young people and community members using their lived experiences and doing direct action to create transformative systemic change.

2022 Chicago Freedom School, Tony Alvarado-Rivera, Executive Director $10,000 Chicago, IL

Chicago Freedom School supports young people to take action for justice in their personal lives and communities. Executive Director Tony Alvarado-Rivera as a Stone Leader for Change will strengthen his leadership skills to navigate the organization more effectively into the post-pandemic era. To do this, Tony will focus on coaching, continuing education, and self- and collective-care

2021 RYSE Center, Kimberly Aceves-Iniguez, Executive Director $10,000 Richmond, CA

RYSE is building a community that inspires and empowers young people to love, learn, educate, heal, and transform lives and communities. As a Stone Leader for Change, Executive Director Kimberly Aceves-Iñiguez focused on deepening her knowledge of power-building mechanisms, such as Youth Voting Power, Policy Power and Training, and Direct Political Power to better assert a more effective vision for enacting youth-driven change.

2021 Oakland Kids First, Lukas-Brekke-Miesner, Executive Director $10,000 Oakland, CA

Oakland Kids First drives to increase youth voice, leadership and power to create engaging and equitable public schools where all students learn and lead. Executive Director Lukas Brekke-Miesner Stone Leaders for Change experience focused on gaining perspective and insights from other field leaders on everything ranging from budgeting, board development, team management, and HR practices to coalition building, organizing strategy, and fiscal sponsorship. Through this, Brekke-Miesner will help position the organization in taking a more powerful advocacy stance.

2021 Mikva Challenge Grant Foundation, Inc., Vernee Green, Executive Director $10,000 Chicago, IL

Mikva develops youth to be empowered, informed, and active citizens who will promote a just and equitable society. As Executive Director, Verneé Green envisions growing the organization towards becoming a hub for continuous learning and improvement in the field of Action Civics. To support this vision, Green’s Stone Leaders for Change experience focused on building her leadership and expanding her skills in innovative practices and better extend this knowledge to Mikva staff.

2021 Coleman Advocates for Children & Youth, Neva Walker, Executive Director $10,000 San Francisco, CA

Coleman Advocates works to promote access for families to high quality education, living wage jobs, family-supporting benefits, affordable housing, and a voice in the decisions that affect families and young people most. As a Stone Leader for Change, Executive Director Neva Walker strengthened her coaching skills to better support BIPOC movement leaders, within her organization and across the field, in their work and promote liberation for collective healing.

2020 Youth United for Change, Rapheal Randall, Executive Director $5,000 Philadelphia, PA

Youth United for Change’s (YUC) model of community organizing brings diverse groups of youth together to target common concerns and act collectively on their own behalf, both to impact institutions and policy and to develop themselves as young leaders. As a Stone Leader for Change, Executive Director Rapheal Randall deepened his understanding of participatory budgeting as a means to expanding the democratic participation of Black and brown working-class communities.

2020 Philadelphia Student Union, Fred Pinguel, Executive Director $5,000 Philadelphia, PA

The Philadelphia Student Union (PSU) builds the power of young people and provides youth with tools that will allow them to organize and build their own power in order to make a positive change in their schools and communities. As a Stone Leader for Change, Executive Director Fred Pinguel has had the opportunity to strengthen the organization’s communications and financial literacy in order to make it more efficient with planning, performance, operations, and to productively communicate PSU’s story.