Meet the Spring 2023 Small Grants Program Grantees!
The Hope SF Initiative is honored to spotlight recipients of the Spring 2023 Hope SF Small Grants Program, funding resident-centered projects across Alice Griffith, Hunters’ View, Potrero Hill, and Sunnydale. The Small Grants Program recognizes that Hope SF residents have the solutions to uplift Hope SF voices through community-generated ideas.
Please be sure to scroll through each series of photos to see this amazing work in action!
Doo Da Right Thing
“We didn’t expect to get as much traction as it did, but at the end of the school year students were saying, ‘We can’t wait to see you next year!’” – Erica McClure
Doo Da Right Thing is a project of Doo Da Activities, started by former Alice Griffith resident Vannoy McCree as a way for HOPE SF youth and families to build community engagement and access safe spaces dedicated to health and wellness. Doo Da Right Thing was anchored at Thurgood Marshall High School and was open to all students during the 2023 academic year. Most of the 30 participating students were graduating seniors, who accessed one on one academic counseling sessions throughout the school day, attended workshops during lunch break, and participated in student-parent meetings with the Doo Da Right Thing academic counselors. Participants developed a post-graduation plan, whether that included college attendance, technical education, or a career development plan. Various workshops, suggested by students, introduced them to local professionals who shared their lived experiences and provided personal examples of success in their field, including real estate professionals, beauticians, and entrepreneurs. Doo Da Right Thing partnered with A. Phillip Randolph Institute to offer summer scholarships, and students reported that the program helped them achieve academically and feel more confident during the school day.
“This group will be focused on understanding how trauma affects the brain and how we develop the effects of racial trauma. We will include many practices for stress relief and overall well-being as well as techniques to transmute our traumas into something beautiful and helpful.” – Nicole Yarbrough
Designed to begin in September 2023, SoulSistahs is an innovative women’s wellness group that will offer an in-depth 10-week course on identifying, navigating, and living with trauma. Serving Hunters View residents from ages 21-50, SoulSistahs will cover topics like mindfulness, emotional intelligence, communication techniques, and leadership, within personal life and within the community. Led by Hunters View Resident Activities Coordinator Nicole Yarbrough, participants will be introduced to tools like guided meditation, journaling, and therapeutic art to support the deep inward study of the self to shift from surviving to thriving. Nicole shares that “creating women’s networks are crucial for equality. They provide close connections to other women who might encounter similar struggles.. Being able to open up without fear of being judged or hurting someone they love makes them feel accepted and allows them to begin the healing process.” Please follow the QR code above to learn more about the course, and to sign up for workshop sessions.
Tear It Up Boxing
“This is an opportunity for residents of Potrero Hill to learn new ways to take care of themselves physically and mentally. It also gives them the opportunity to experience life through a different lens and build community amongst each other.” – Terrell Windom
Potrero Hill resident Terrell Windom had the idea to create the Tear It Up Boxing Program when he noticed a need for spaces dedicated to community and physical fitness in his HOPE SF neighborhood. Partnered with Parks and Recreation, Terrell offered weekly classes that covered an introduction to the art of boxing. In a typical class, participants gathered and put on boxing gloves, some for the first time. They then went through drills learning how to jab, block, and move their feet with quick, light steps. Students had a blast learning these techniques, with boys and girls attending classes to build boxing skills. Terrell shared that he hopes to continue the classes, with a goal to increase class size and grow the number of students excited to learn a new sport.
Happy, Healing Hearts Initiative
“Seeing positive representatives of our culture really helps [participants] step up and lead healthy lives, creating a ripple effect of positive impact across the community.” – La’Jeana Thompson
Led by Sunnydale resident La’Jeana Thompson, the Happy, Healing Hearts Initiative focused on growing social and emotional connections between HOPE SF residents while supporting the prevention of chronic illnesses in the African American population in all four HOPE SF communities. La’Jeana led weekly workshops that helped residents build skills in healthy living, including monitoring blood pressure, eating healthy meals, and finding accessible pathways for exercise. One weekend, the Happy, Healing Hearts Initiative led a group of over 20 participants on a walk along Market Street for an exercise in joyful movement as they marched with San Francisco’s inaugural Juneteenth Parade. Workshops were held in multiple locations, such as tabling at the Sunnydale Health Fair and the Sunnydale Recreation Center, uplifting the benefits of healthy eating and exercise. A typical workshop began with a sharing circle where everyone introduced themselves and checked in with each other, then the featured facilitator led participants through that week’s educational program, including introductions to CPR, ways to navigate stress, and accessible options for including fresh fruits and vegetables in meal preparation. After the workshop, all participants shared a healthy meal and made plans for the next session, including plans for exercise in between workshops.