The Ruth Ellis Center was awarded a $50,000 grant from the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Foundation, which will be used to expand leadership programs for LGBTQ youth.
With the grant, the center will develop a curriculum that is focused on building foundational work skills, along with a 9-week paid summer internship and peer leader programs.
Those programs will help increase soft and hard skills for employment readiness, and will also include other educational opportunities.
“Transforming the lives of youth and young adults with education and opportunities so they have a positive future is key to our mission,” Executive Director Jerry Peterson said in a release. “We are fearless advocates for creating a path to self-sufficiency for the youth at Ruth Ellis Center, and this grant will support highly effective work in that regard,” he continued.
“The FCA Foundation recognizes its responsibility to help build strong and sustainable communities,” said Christine Estereicher, Director, FCA Foundation, Civic Engagement & State Affairs - FCA. “Providing opportunities for young people to develop the skills necessary to succeed in school and life is key in this regard, and complements FCA’s longstanding commitment to LGBTQ+ employees, communities, customers and issues.”
Based in Highland Park, the Ruth Ellis Center offers services for LGBTQ youth who experience homelessness or are in the child welfare system. They've operated for two decades to help young people.