Healthier Glades awards $30,000 in “Mini-Grants” to promote behavioral health

Funding puts the power of change in the hands of residents and nonprofit agencies

Posted 1/26/24

Healthier Glades’ unique approach to behavioral health brings together residents...

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Healthier Glades awards $30,000 in “Mini-Grants” to promote behavioral health

Funding puts the power of change in the hands of residents and nonprofit agencies


PAHOKEE — Healthier Glades, a Palm Health Foundation Healthier Together initiative, has granted $30,000 in mini-grant awards to fund resident-led and grassroots organizations to develop programs focused on health and wellness, storytelling, and advocacy for youth. Ten recipients received $3,000 each to pursue their innovative ideas that will benefit resident and youth behavioral health in 2024. Healthier Glades has awarded nearly $129,000 in grants to residents and organizations since 2019.

Over 50 people gathered for the awards celebration on Dec. 16, 2023, at the Belle Glade Civic Center to recognize mini-grant recipients. Local leaders attending the event included Belle Glade City Commissioner Mary Wilkerson, Corey Murphy, community impact officer from the Community Foundation of Palm Beach and Martin Counties, and Florida State Representative Rick Roth.

Healthier Glades’ unique approach to behavioral health brings together residents, grassroots initiatives, and organizations to unlock community strengths, elevating and investing in the ideas that the community believes hold the most promise to change lives and the narrative around mental health.

“Our residents are closest to our community’s challenges and have the talent and knowledge to make an impact,” said Annie Ifill, Healthier Glades project director. “We’re investing in homegrown solutions delivered by trusted people in our region.”

• Anquonette Irving, Prolific Readers, will encourage a passion for reading among youth and improve behavioral health and wellness by providing social and emotional reading books.

• Beverly Lee, Advocacy Support, will empower parents with skills and support to advocate for school age children with special needs.

• Mona King, Music for the Heart and Soul, will provide musical therapy to Glades region senior citizens who have age-related memory issues, including Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

• Jessica Garcia, I Am Chosen, will prepare youth/young adults to enter the workforce prepared, educated, confident and with a professionalism mindset.

• Shresse Lumpkin, ME, will strengthen youth self-awareness, discovery, and management through education on nutrition, storytelling, and advocacy in collaboration with the faith community.

• Steve Messam, Youth Sports Media Academy, will establish a dynamic Youth Sports Media Academy dedicated to showcasing the talents, aspirations, and stories of young athletes in the Glades communities.

• Nepoleon Collins, MOT Behavioral and Physical Health Program, will support the “Men of Tomorrow Wellness Program” to improve the behavioral and physical health of local community high school boys.

• Queens Justice Holistic Services, Maternal Health Support Groups, will implement a maternal health support group to pre/post-natal women in the Glades.

• Glades Area Ministerial Association, Crossroads Faith-based Values Youth Summit, will offer Glades youth in the juvenile justice system, the opportunity to participate in a faith-based “Chosen To Overcome” mentoring program.

• LetCo Community Development, Inc., Mentoring Minds Mission, will partner with two alternative schools and provide mentoring services and academic support.

President and CEO of Palm Health Foundation Patrick McNamara values the impact the mini-grants will have on residents in the Glades region. “The mini-grants this year are exactly the kinds of ideas we seek to invest in—those that prioritize the experiences of people rather than systems,” he said. “When we listen to the voices of our neighbors, we are valuing the human experience and the important roles we all play in building a culture of health.”

healthier glades, mini-grant, glades area