Partners for Youth with Disabilities awarded Cummings Grant

Somerville, MA: June 1, 2020 – Partners for Youth with Disabilities (PYD) is one of 130 local nonprofits to receive grants of $100,000 to $500,000 through Cummings Foundation‘s $20 Million Grant Program. Our Somerville-based organization was chosen from a total of 738 applicants during a competitive review process. 

The grant funds will support PYD’s Career Readiness Program, which works to improve employment readiness outcomes for young adults with disabilities. The program addresses barriers to employment via a three-tiered curriculum involving academic learning, real-world experiences, and mentoring. These funds will allow the program to provide increased one-to-one and small group career counseling as well as develop business partnerships and secure workplace learning experiences for participants. 

“We are so very honored to receive Cummings Foundation’s generous grant award in the amount of $100,000,” said PYD’s Founder and Executive Director Regina Snowden. 

“Our Career Readiness Program has been a visionary educational support for students with disabilities in Boston Public Schools for over 20 years. Foundation support is a critical need for us to be able to address all the costs of service delivery. Cummings Foundation support will provide a solid foundation, allowing the program to deliver the fine details and most important accommodations that will help more youth be served in quality, with more numbers allowed to be served. Career Readiness is exactly the type of support that addresses the reality that persons with disabilities are vastly unemployed and underemployed. We are changing that. With Cummings Foundation support they are a partner in being true change-makers in seeing that persons with disabilities are ready to enter and contribute to our workforce. Our gratitude is mighty!” 

The Cummings $20 Million Grant Program supports Massachusetts nonprofits that are based in and primarily serve Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk counties. Through this place-based initiative, Cummings Foundation aims to give back in the area where it owns commercial buildings, all of which are managed at no cost to the Foundation by its affiliate, Cummings Properties. Founded in 1970 by Bill Cummings, the Woburn-based commercial real estate firm leases and manages 10 million square feet of debt-free space, the majority of which exclusively benefits the Foundation. 

“We have been impressed, but not surprised, by the myriad ways in which these 130 grant winners are serving their communities, despite the challenges presented by COVID-19,” said Joel Swets, Cummings Foundation’s executive director. 

“Their ability to adapt and work with their constituents in new and meaningful ways has an enormous impact on the communities where our colleagues and leasing clients live and work.” 

Cummings Foundation has now awarded more than $280 million to Greater Boston nonprofits. 

Social distancing requirements will prevent the Foundation and grant winner representatives from convening for a reception to celebrate the $20 million infusions into Greater Boston’s nonprofit sector. Instead, Cummings Foundation expects hundreds of individuals to gather virtually for a modified celebration in mid-June. 

The Foundation and its volunteers first identified 130 organizations to receive grants of at least $100,000 each. Among the winners are first-time recipients as well as nonprofits that have previously received Cummings Foundation grants. A limited number of this latter group of repeat recipients will be invited to make in-person presentations in the fall, when public health-related circumstances allow, proposing that their grants be elevated to long-term awards. Thirty such requests will be granted in the form of 10-year awards ranging from $200,000 to $500,000 each. 

This year’s diverse group of grant recipients represents a wide variety of causes, including homelessness prevention, affordable housing, education, violence prevention, and food insecurity. The nonprofits are spread across 40 different cities and towns, and most will receive their grants over two to five years. 

The complete list of 130 grant winners is available here.

This blog post was written by Lindsay Alperin, our Career Readiness Director.