In 2016, the City of Columbia identified neighborhoods that could benefit from additional resources. They developed a strategic plan for these neighborhoods to help improve social equality, public safety, economy, infrastructure and operational excellence. To help with this plan, the City teamed with the Shelter Insurance Foundation to provide three annual Success Grants in the amount of $1,000 each to students who live in these neighborhoods. To qualify, candidates must:
- Live in or have a connection to one of the identified neighborhoods
- Have financial need
- Be of excellent character
- Be a U.S. Citizen
- Have a GPA of 2.5 or higher at the time of high school graduation
- Have an interest in making their neighborhoods safer and more vibrant
- Be interested in creating a project for the neighborhood that initiates positive interaction while being mentored by a City staff member
- Be planning to start post-secondary education in the Fall of 2019
Funds from the Success Grants will be paid to the two- or four-year accredited college, university or technical school of the student's choice and can be used for tuition, fees, books and housing.
About the Neighborhood Service Project
How can you decide what would make a good neighborhood project? Think about the needs of your neighborhood and what you think would make it better. Would your neighborhood enjoy block parties, clean-ups or activities for kids? Could it be safer? Would it benefit from home repairs?
Mekhia Thompson, a Battle High graduate and winner of the first Success Grant in 2017, hosted a block party in the East Neighborhood last summer. Here's what she had to say about her project: “My proposal to get the community in my neighborhood more involved with one another is to have a block party. I know there’s a variety of kids in the Rice Road area and I want to do something that would involve their interests. If we had law enforcement or city officials out being involved then I believe that would break down assumptions and stereotypes of authority figures in our society.”
If you are interested in applying for a Success Grant and meet the criteria, please complete the application, prepare a project proposal for how to improve your neighborhood, and a copy of your current high school transcript and submit it all to Stacye Smith at Shelter Insurance. You may submit this information to her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by regular mail to the following address by 5 p.m. on Friday, March 1, 2019:
Shelter Grant Review Committee
c/o Stacye Smith
Shelter Insurance Corporate Office
1817 W. Broadway
Columbia, MO 65218
In early March, the review committee will discuss the applications and select at least one applicant per neighborhood to invite for a personal interview. In mid-March, applicants will meet their mentors. Applicants will carry out their projects in June and July, and submit a final project report in August.
Are you ready to make your neighborhood—and your future—brighter? Apply Today!