ACCESS is dedicated to empowering individuals, families, and communities to lead productive, culturally sensitive and fulfilling lives.
ACCESS works for the empowerment of Arab Americans, as well as all immigrant and low-income communities. As the largest Arab American nonprofit human services organization in the United States, ACCESS serves a diverse community through comprehensive social services, health and research, youth and education, employment and training, environmental advocacy, civic engagement, and arts and humanities programming. ACCESS has also developed a strong track record of engaging the Arab American community in philanthropic giving and the culture of philanthropy.
Youth: Our Future
ACCESS empowers young people through youth-based initiatives designed to actively engage them in their communities, learn essential life skills, and explore their roles as community leaders. ACCESS’ Youth & Family Services Center in Dearborn’s South End is dedicated to the needs of children and their families through a holistic and integrated approach.
Teen Grant-making Initiative
Who knows the needs and concerns of young people better than the youths themselves? In September 2011, the Center for Arab American Philanthropy, a project of ACCESS, launched the Teen Grant-making Initiative (TGI) to engage young people in identifying and providing solutions to the major issues their peers face in school, at home, and in the community. Comprised of 20 high school students from metro Detroit, TGI encourages civic engagement while developing leadership skills.
TGI members are empowered to create change in their communities by:
- identifying the needs of young people in their community
- developing priorities for addressing those needs
- raising money
- making grants to organizations serving youth
In the first year of the program, TGI members granted $5,000 to nonprofit organizations in metro Detroit. All of the projects that were funded not only serve young people, they are also led by them.
Through their involvement in TGI, young people learn about nonprofit organizations, grant-making and the impact of philanthropy. But most important, they learn to identify as community leaders with the power to solve problems, making TGI a powerful model of youth civic engagement.
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