Impact 100 Redwood Circle has awarded its first $100,000 grant to VOICES, an innovative nonprofit that provides youth with the resources they need to make the leap from foster care to successful, independent adulthood. More than 100 members of this nascent women’s giving circle gathered on Saturday, May 21 to hear presentations from three nonprofit grant finalists, including Social Advocates for Youth and Face 2 Face.

VOICES will use the funds to develop and implement a “Foster Youth Navigation Program”, which is aimed at increasing the percentage of foster youth successfully matriculating through college. “We are thrilled to award this grant to VOICES,” said Melissa Kelley, co-founder of Impact 100 Redwood Circle and president of the group. “We are confident that this grant will enable VOICES to boost the confidence and ability of the program’s 40 participants to attend and graduate from college, thereby increasing their chance of living healthy, successful lives.”

VOICES representatives Amber Twitchell and Mitch Findley, himself a former foster youth, made the winning presentation. “I’ve never felt this humbled,” said Twitchell. “To be chosen in the company of two such dynamic competitors is just amazing. It is so heart-warming to know that the women of Impact 100 believe in our program and are able to make such an important investment in the lives of our foster kids.”

Impact 100 Redwood Circle was launched in early 2015 and is a fund of the Community Foundation Sonoma County. In its inaugural year of operation, FY 2015-16, 156 women have joined the giving circle and raised more than $140,000.

Impact 100 Redwood Circle information is available at their website or by contacting the Community Foundation.

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